Plastics processors have indicated that unreliability of recyclate supply and client specifications are deterring the greater use of recycled polymers.
For the first time, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) included recycling in its latest six-monthly membership survey, the results of which were published today (20 February). A question sought to find out from processors why they did not use recycled polymers.
The single biggest reason given was the reliability of the recyclate (37%), followed by clients not wanting it in their products (32%); cost and processing difficulties (both 15%).
The survey was completed by 100 out of the BPF’s membership of 450 covering all parts of the industry. Other findings indicated what the BPF described as an optimistic outlook: 55% expected to increase turnover in 2013; 36% were looking to increase profitability and one-third planning to increase staff.
BPF director-general Peter Davis said: “The plastics industry is confident about sales this year and most (respondents) plan to make investments in plant and equipment.”
However, 19% expected a fall in profitability, markedly up on the previous survey’s 7%. Davis said they blamed exchange rates, Asian competition and raw material and energy costs.
“This shows the heavy external pressures on companies in a tough trading market,” he said.
Davis repeated calls for the UK’s training system to be “galvanized to meet skill shortages” in response to the finding that two-thirds of respondents said technical managers were hard to recruit while one-third struggled to find apprentices.
The BPF has unveiled a series of events during 2013 to mark its anniversary, including a ‘Plastics United’ forum in Manchester in June to bring together producers and distributors, machinery suppliers, manufacturers, service providers and recyclers.
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