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These are good times for plastics recycling as worldwide plastic resin markets are struggling owing to several factors. The current geopolitical crisis is causing major oil price fluctuations which are directly affecting the prices of resins, which account for around 60-70% of plastics manufacturing companies’ cost structures.

Global trade costs and logistics issues are also causing shortages in the resin market, including port congestion in China and the USA. The current high prices for resins are leading to increased input costs for plastics companies and to higher demand for recycled material as companies bid not only to reduce these input costs but also to guarantee their material supply.

Moreover, companies in the EU are working very hard to be globally competitive while dealing with the EU’s broader net-zero emission goals. A large amount of investment has been made already, but the long investment cycles mean it will take a number of years before the full benefits become apparent. However, the present situation is making investment in the plastics recycling market more attractive.

Prior to the emergence of COVID, we tended to apply emotion to the recycled plastics market in the sense of protecting the world’s resources and cutting harmful emissions. Now the economic benefits are becoming clearly visible too. There is a need for the recycled plastic market: we need to be economically independent of the oil price and we have to guarantee resin supply, both of which can only be accomplished through recycled resins.