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Industry feels brighter outlook lies ahead

Short-term market volatility followed by a brighter outlook was the general consensus of key recycling industry figures brought together yesterday to discuss the current global economic downturn.

A poll of delegates at the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) conference found 80% thought the global outlook for recycling in the next six months was volatile. But more positively, they thought the outlook in the next 18 months to five years was good.

WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said: No one wants to talk up the global economic slowdown but it also offers opportunities. She said emphasis on quality of material passing through the supply chain would now be one of the most important factors, an issue echoed by other speakers and delegates.

The current situation shows crystal clear the risks that WRAP has been talking about now people are seeing that quality material is safer material, WRAP director of business growth Steve Creed told MRW.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) deputy director of wastes management division Roy Hathaway echoed the sentiment. He warned: It is going to be the lower quality end of the spectrum that will be squeezed out in an economic downturn and the commercial drivers may prove stronger than the legislative ones.

Two thirds of delegates involved with trading materials said they would sell at any price in the current climate, while just under a quarter said they would stockpile materials.

For a full report from the WRAP conference, including a China focus, see MRWs special feature in the Oct 31 issue

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