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Polymer firm sees plastics coming home

Plastics manufacturing could return to the UK using recycled polymers.

That is the view of Keith Freegard, director of Axion Polymers, who has said that rising manufacturing costs in the Far East are making UK plastics firms reconsider the idea of production at home.

Freegard pointed to some product types already returning to the UK – such as the Trunki pull-along child’s suitcase.

He said importers were reviewing “the balance of benefits versus cost in the face of high real-estate prices, rising labour and electricity costs and onerous custom transfers in China”.

Salford-based Axion supplies UK-sourced recycled polymers derived from waste fridge and ELV plastics for uses that include vehicle and washing machine components.

“New market opportunities are emerging in the UK as branded producers and retailers recognise the need to offer customers a more sustainable product using raw materials that have been recycled in the UK’s well-developed plastics recycling chain,” Freegard said.

“This strikes a chord with many ‘middle England’ consumers, already diligent recyclers themselves, who understand that buying UK-produced goods supports local jobs and businesses.

“I can only foresee a growing trend for some manufacturing to migrate back to the UK.”

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