Posted on 03/11/2009 in category Plastics



Brussels,3rd November 2009

BIRAutumn Round-Table Sessions
Amsterdam,26-27 October 2009

PlasticsRecycling – a “sunrise industry”

“There will be a substantial increasein trade in recyclables” and, therefore, “we must be prepared fora lot of opportunities and challenges”, the BIR PlasticsRound-Table in Amsterdam was assured by its Chairman, Surendra Boradof Gemini Corporation BV in Belgium.

Describing plastics recycling as a“sunrise industry”, he pointed specifically to the opportunitiesinferred by a study which has found that “7% of the EU greenhousegas reduction target will be achieved if landfilled plastics areeither recycled or recovered into energy”. Recycling can also helpto alleviate the “large deficit in polymers” set to emerge inEurope and the USA.

During a subsequent series of marketreports, Mr Borad described as “worrying” the virtual suspensionof scrap imports into the important Kandla special economic zone inIndia. Differences in the interpretation of rules have meant that“recyclers are facing difficulties in clearing the goods”. Unlikeits counterpart in China, the Indian government regards scrap aswaste rather than as a raw material, he pointed out.

Moving on to report on the Americanmarket, Mr Borad highlighted “good business” for US exporters toIndonesia and Vietnam. In China, meanwhile, an oversupply situationhas developed owing to a combination of heavy ordering in previousmonths and the impact on industrial activity levels of the country’searly-October holiday, observed Jacques Musa of Veolia PropretéFrance Recycling. Noting that plastics collection volumes in Europeare 30% lower than last year, the same speaker estimated that themajority of recyclers in France are operating at 60% of theircapacity. Meanwhile, the difficulty of keeping good-quality materialwithin the domestic market was emphasised in the report from Spain.

Reporting for Germany and theNetherlands, Peter Daalder of Dutch firm Daly Plastics said thatprices have come under pressure following a period of gradualimprovement; early-October decreases of Euro 50 per tonne for bulkpolymers are attributed mainly to the impact on export demand of theholidays in China.

One of two guest speakers at theRound-Table in Amsterdam, Peter Kuiper explained that hisorganisation ARN will focus on post-shredder technology at aspecially-built facility in Tiel so as to ensure the Netherlandsmeets the EU requirement to recycle 95% by weight of a car by theyear 2015. He went on to describe shredder residues as “a hugepotential source for plastics recycling”.

According to Mr Kuiper, who is ProjectManager at ARN, the organisation has already recycled 18,000 tonnesof car bumpers, 1300 tonnes of grilles, 2200 tonnes of hub-caps and20,000 tonnes of polyurethane foam.

In a presentation entitled“Flexibility: the core competence of a recycler”, independentindustry expert Ed Flohr said that large companies are “gainingground” in the waste management and recycling fields, and that “theintensity of competition will grow”. However, flexible smallerbusinesses will still be in a position to exploit: isolatedgeographical markets; special materials; new sources; new customers;and “states of confusion” such as “a market in flux”.