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Spain

During recent months, we have been facing rising raw material prices. Copper, plastics and petroleum derivatives have reached historical highs. The polyethylene price has increased by almost 30% compared to last year and PVC by 20%. This raw material price boom has also affected the plastics recycling market.

Last year, recyclers suffered a drop in raw material prices that made them less competitive in respect to virgin plastic producers. Today, they are facing higher raw material costs owing to a shortage in plastic stocks and an increase in plastic demand.

Given a difficult 2020 for plastics recyclers and the current hike in the prices of their raw materials, they are more than ever in need of legislation that encourages the market to use recycled plastic. Spain is to have two new taxes to encourage plastics recycling: one to tax the use of single-use only virgin plastic; and the other to tax virgin plastic ending up at landfills or incineration plants. It is not known whether taxing virgin plastic use will promote the use of recycled plastic; what we do know, however, is that we are not able to recycle most of the plastic on the market and that we should invest in eco-design. When producing plastic materials, we should think of their second life.