recyclers see PET bottle shortage
According to the European Plastics Recyclers
Association (EuPR), the PET bottle supply for European recycling
is too tight. The recycling capacity has been following the increasing
trend of PET consumption and collection but the current combination
of market forces has reduced the output of the European recycling
plants. This situation is caused by several factors such as the
exchange rates, a longer winter, the bottles’ weight reduction
and the increased export to the Far East. As a result, this situation
is getting critical for some recycling operations as their input
material is getting scarce.
This situation could easily be improved by
increasing the collection ratios and focusing on local recycling.
Furthermore, the big differences per country regarding the quality
and the quantity of the collected materials urgently needs further
harmonization. European collection and recycling are the fundamentals
of a sustainable recycling system. Thus, long distance exports
do not fit in this concept. Additionally, the security of supply
needs to be improved before Europe loses experienced and trained
The EuPR underlines that focusing on European
recycling is the key for long term sustainable resources management.
Leakage of bottles to the Far East is leading to a more unsustainable
situation, which will affect the converters, brand owners and
final users. Furthermore, the benefit of the collected material
financed by the European tax payers is being misused outside
the EU instead of being used for supporting the European recyclers
helping Europe to move towards a recycling society.