Waste textiles recyclers in Germany say business has become tougher each month over the course of 2023. While the first half of the year was still relatively good, comments about the second half range from "very challenging" to "sluggish" and "dismal".
Overall, the industry’s performance is slipping as it struggles with both rising costs and lower output. One problem throughout the entire year has been the chronic labour shortage, that made finding staff to empty collection containers and sort textiles particularly difficult.
In addition, there have been high levels of employee absence in recent weeks due to sickness, primarily Covid-19 infections and colds. The employee situation is "dramatic”, one major sorter told EUWID, explaining this ultimately results in a further reduction in sorting output.
Demand for secondhand clothes and wiper rags is patchy. The combination of high inventory levels and weak sales volumes is now putting pressure on the prices for original collected stock. Respondents say this especially affects the more expensive goods. For the coming year, the outlook is gloomy. Business is likely to get even more difficult, according to market players.
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