Effects of crisis linger amid new hope on German PET bottle recycling market

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31.08.2020 − 

The situation facing PET recyclers remains challenging. While several businesses in Germany were at least in a slightly more upbeat mood in August, others are now worried about their survival. Sales remained weak. After all, recycled PET and flake prices remain under substantial pressure from cheap primary PET.

A few recyclers still had workers out on furlough or on short time work in August because their customers, including bottling companies, are complaining about plunging ordering or are using cheaper primary PET and plan to at least until the end of the year to cut costs. A few PET recycling lines in Germany would likely be offline until the end of the year, sources said.

Concerns that government support for plastics recycling would come too late

“We think that a market shake-out is taking place. Nobody cares about recycling at the moment,” one recycler said, in reference to market developments that had accelerated due to the coronavirus crisis. He thinks that the government support called for by the recycling industry would likely come much too late for a few recyclers. Other PET recyclers are still reporting slow sales, although August had been a little better than July. Looking ahead to September, a few market players expect demand to strengthen a little.

The full report on the post-consumer PET bottle recycling market in Germany will appear in the next print and e-paper issues of EUWID Recycling & Waste Management (18/2020) out on 2 September. Online subscribers can access the report immediately here: Post-consumer PET bottles

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