A limited closed-loop system in European plastic recycling industry due to the epidemic

Abstract

1. consumers' purchasing and recycling habits changed, the sales season was affected, and the volume of recycling was reduced; 2. The decline in demand from downstream terminals such as automobiles has led to a decrease in the demand for recycling and recycling industries; 3. European countries have implemented "sea closure" measures, which has affected the logistics supply chain; 4. The impact of the epidemic is uncertain, and enterprises are conservative in their long-term strategic investment goals in terms of new technologies and processes for recycling.

As we all know, closed-loop recycling is to use a deposit system or an extended producer responsibility system to change the recycling subject from a scavenger to a consumer or a producer, which can improve the recovery rate and the quality of recycling. But this model also exposed shortcomings in the face of the epidemic.

At present, the new crown pneumonia epidemic is intensifying in Europe. After European countries strengthened control measures, the market ’s worry about Europe ’s major plastic recycling markets has increased sharply, and the market may continue to maintain a weak state of supply and demand.

Affected by seasonal and epidemic isolation

Germany is one of the countries with the most mature Drag reduction system(DRS) in Europe, under which consumers return used PET bottles to merchants through vending machines set up in supermarkets and other places.

Nowadays, in the case of social distance and self-isolation in the epidemic, people's travel restrictions have made PET recycling difficult. Many people would rather store plastic bottles than go out or choose glass bottles.

The epidemic may also affect the trend of peak season for bottled beverage consumption. If you still need to maintain social distance in the summer, people may not have many opportunities to go out, which will reduce the source of R-PET materials.

Mark Victory, senior editor of market research firm ICIS, said, "It usually takes several weeks for the reduced recovery rate to be felt in the market, because post-consumer or post-industrial materials take time to penetrate the entire chain. This means that in rPET and As the peak season for recyclable polyolefins (rPO) begins, there is likely to be a shortage. "

Oil plunges, causing a chain reaction, primary plastics pressure on recycled plastics

As a result of the ongoing price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, crude oil prices have plummeted, and the nascent plastic markets across Europe have also fallen. Price competition from nascent plastics will affect demand for recycled plastics.

There is also a logistics issue that has received much attention. At present, several European countries have closed their borders and restricted the movement of goods and people. As a result, the transportation of materials to and from recycling stations has become a challenge. Throughout the recycling industry, pan-European trade flows generally include post-consumer and post-industrial waste. These post-consumer and post-industrial waste usually come from overseas, and the manufactured flakes and pellets are often exported across borders.

Some companies believe that the outbreak will allow industries to reduce their focus on sustainable goals in the short term. They also think that brands will use nascent plastic more because it may be easier to obtain.

In addition, because the prices of colorless R-PET flakes and food-grade pellets, recycled high-density polyethylene (R-HDPE) natural and food-grade pellets, and R-PP natural pellets are all higher than those of primary materials, they will only go further. Increase the use of primary materials.


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