The European plastics recycling industry is closing production due to the current market developments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to trade body, Plastics Recyclers Europe.
PRE explained that the major problems are the lack of the demand due to the closure of converting plants and the record low prices of virgin plastics as well as the decreased activity globally.
Ton Emans, PRE president commented: “If the situation is to persist and no actions are taken to remedy the sector, plastics recycling will cease to be profitable, hampering the attainment of the EU recycling targets and putting in jeopardy the transition towards circular plastics.
“In such a case, recyclable plastic waste will have no alternatives but to be sent to landfill or incineration.”
The organisation argued that damage to the recycling market would, in addition to the grave environmental consequences, have far reaching socio-economic impacts due to the extensive employment in the waste management value chain.
PRE said that the industry is calling on the EU and the Member States to include recycling as one of the sectors supported by their Recovery Plans and to continue implementing the measures under the Circular Economy umbrella.
Safeguarding the positive developments within this market it said, is essential to reduce Europe’s use of virgin plastics and, therefore, for the survival of the secondary raw materials market as well as further investments in the sector.