Prices for recycled plastics may have increased, but other factors such as higher production costs and flat supply are hurting profit margins at plastic recycling facilities.
“The market gets more difficult by the minute,” said Benjamin Benvenuti, president of Commercial Plastics Recycling Inc. (CPR), headquartered in Tampa.
“Manufacturers are using their own scrap to cut costs, new technology has cut the amount of scrap produced and more brokers in the market leave no margin for error.”
CPR buys post-industrial and post-consumer plastic scrap from injection molders, blow molders, thermo formers and converters. It also purchases off-grade resin from major resin producers. It has plants in Tampa, Newton, North Carolina, Millwood, West Virginia and sales offices in Little Falls, New Jersey and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
All of CPR’s plants provide grinding, screening, repackaging, baling, sales, testing and laboratory facilities. CPR reported sales of $9.7 million in 2006 and it handled approximately 40 million pounds of recyclable plastic material during the year.
Benvenuti said buyers are happy with the increased competition, which helps to keep prices down, while sellers of scrap are enjoying higher sale prices. “It appears that the recycler is the unhappy player in the middle with smaller margins,” he said.