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Impact of oil prices overstated says recyclers' head

The head of a European recycling association insists that demand for recycled plastics has not generally been hit by low oil prices.

Many in the sector have complained that the lower cost of the raw material undercuts those using recycled polymers. It was attributed in part to the problems faced by the doomed Closed Loop Recycling in the UK when bottlers and retailers found that virgin HDPE was cheaper.

But Ton Emans, president of Plastics Recyclers Europe, said that situation did not reflect the general business of plastics recyclers and affected only those exposed to plastic exports.

“First, the lower Chinese demand for plastic waste has released some pressure on the prices for sorted material. Second, good quality recycled plastics produced by European recyclers have stable outlets as well as delivering environmental benefit,” he said.

“This stable demand has resulted in several investments in recent months to build up new recycling plants in Europe, and also innovative facilities to treat plastics waste streams which were not recycled in the past.”

Market changes will be at the centre of discussions during the Plastics Recycling Show 2016 in Brussels. The event is being held on 22-23 March 2016 having been postponed from November because of the security alert following the Paris terror attacks.

Plastics Recyclers Europe was created in 1996 to represent plastics recyclers across the continent and has more than 115 members.

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