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Plastics firms 'confident' about coming year

More plastics firms expect to increase turnover over the next year with recyclers among the most positive, according to a regular survey of the sector.

In a meeting with the Bank of England, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) reported that 71% of respondents to its Business Conditions Survey July 2012 anticipated higher UK sales turnover over the next 12 months, up from 54% in the January sampling.

The BPF said of those predicting a turnover increase, 23% expected sales to increase from 2-5%; 21% forecast an increase of 6-10%; and 16% expected growth of 11-20%. Nine percent expected rises of over 21%.

No growth was expected by 24% of respondents with only 5% expecting a drop. The most positive sectors were moulders, polymer producers and recyclers.

BPF director general Peter Davis said: “Our survey attracted 64 responses and exuded a UK Plastics Industry which is confident about business trends over the next 12 months in both sales and profitability, helped by more stability in raw materials availability and cost.”

According to the BPF, 64% of respondents said their profit margin had increased over the last year because of new products and projects, management and cost efficiencies and reduced material costs.

However, 31% experienced a decrease due to government and NHS cutbacks, increased raw material, energy and labour costs.  There was no change in profit margin for 15% of respondents.

Over the next year, almost half said they expected no change in profit margin, although 45% said they did expect an increase, due to cost reduction, greater production efficiency and volume growth.

The report comes as recyclers and collectors have launched a new European standard to boost the use of post-consumer plastics recyclates.

The certification and audit scheme EuCertPlast implements existing CEN standard 14343 on post-consumer plastics recycling.

It has been created by EuPR and EPRO in collaboration with EuPC, EuPET, RECOVINYL, Cyclos and other plastics recycling companie which performed the first pilot audits at factory level.

EuPC managing director Alexandre Dangis advised purchasers of post-consumer plastics recyclates to request this EuCertPlast Certificate from their suppliers in order to guarantee good quality products.

He said: “Converters are ready to use more post-consumer plastics recyclates and this European certification scheme will contribute to more potential for higher plastics recycling targets in Europe. Additionally, the Blue Angel scheme will implement EuCertPlast as from 2013. So consumers will have the assurance of buying eco-friendly products.”

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