Sustainability Through Recycling

Parts of Europe’s plastic recyclers have informed the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) that they are experiencing “severe pressure” as prices continue to decline due to weak demand, lower costs for virgin materials, and general economic unpredictability.


Costs in the UK have been gradually dropping recently for various grades, although HDPE costs are still high. The continually high package recovery note (PRN) price, which has averaged around £300 in 2023, has also helped UK plastic recyclers.

This morning (21st July), the BIR released a report that includes updates from China, Eastern Europe, the Netherlands, Spain, the Middle East, and the United States.


“The European market for recycled plastic remains under severe pressure,” said Henk Alssema of the Dutch business Vita Plastics. Prices have decreased further in recent months to levels not seen in a long time. Raw material demand is exceedingly low, resulting in large stockpiles. Despite the fact that we are not yet in a catastrophic recession, everyone is suffering.


“The deteriorating market situation is primarily due to economic uncertainty.” This has also resulted in a significant decrease in consumer purchasing power, causing their confidence to plummet to dangerously low levels.”


HDPE costs are still high, although other grades are gradually dropping.

Henk Alssema went on to say that the market is “unlikely to improve any time soon,” and that despite the packaging industry’s pledge to utilise recycled materials, “it has still decided to limit its incorporation.”

According to Mr Alssema, this has caused some recyclers to reduce production, creating a “worrying situation.”

“On the one hand, production capacity may disappear permanently as businesses cease operations; on the other hand, this will have a negative impact on the transition to a circular economy,” he added.


More news on this latest report here… European plastic recyclers report ‘severe pressure’ –