Plastics Recycling Update

Factors behind a painful year for plastics recycling


An Ontario group recently looked at market factors shaping the domestic plastics recycling industry in 2017, and it offered predictions about where things are headed.

According to research commissioned by the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF), major market trends that shaped the year included rising virgin material costs, evaporating export markets, ballooning transportation costs, and diminishing supply and demand. CIF is a joint industry-government initiative funded by brand owners as part of Ontario’s extended producer responsibility program for residential recycling.

It was a challenging year for the recycling industry, and although some of the struggles have been framed as opportunities for investment, the report offers a less-than-rosy outlook.

“Given the above forecasts, combined with a downturn in U.S. recyclate markets, it would be a stretch to believe that any significant investment in traditional technologies will be made to address this market shortfall,” the report states.

The factors that contributed are as follows:

Photo credit: Phongphan/Shutterstock

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