A drop off in demand for plastics from the Far East has led some plastics reprocessors to reduce or even stop the amounts of collected material they buy.
Local authorities making money from selling such material could suffer and materials recycling facilities set up to run with plastics markets at £200/£150 per tonne could be affected.
Plastic reprocessor AWS Eco Plastics has stopped buying material, managing director Jonathon Short explained: We have stopped buying fresh material because we have run out of room. If we took more material we would be in breach of our waste management contract. But we are still processing.
Short said that sales to the Far East have dropped off but added that there is hope that the regions buyers will return to the market in November.
We have also been introducing new lines so that were not so reliant on Far East trade, Short added. The market has been in a bubble but it has burst and now weve got price corrections. Some processors have stopped taking supplies until there is clarification in the market. So some suppliers are panicking because its gone from a competitive environment to one where people wont pay for the material. If we had to return to landfilling that would be a step backward. But I dont think this will happen.
However, another plastics recycling source, which is still taking collected plastics, rejected this prediction and said: Export always has downturns, which happen for political reasons. But this one has been caused by the world recession. I do not think Far East buyers will return before Christmas and people have to be prepared for these prices for the next six months.