The consequences of the pandemic are still weighing heavy on the plastics industry. The automotive sector is fighting for survival and plastics manufacturers are complaining about declining production numbers. Business is booming only for the packaging and medical sectors.
Meanwhile, raw material prices are rising. In the PE sector in particular, companies are buying large volumes because of fears relating to the pandemic and Brexit. Rising prices and delivery bottlenecks are also being seen with PS too. Price increases and delivery issues are likely to continue over the coming weeks.
Germany’s Federal Council has approved regulations for some single-use plastic products. But the pandemic has showed that we depend on certain products, especially for the restaurant, food delivery and medicine sectors. Therefore, it is really positive that federal states have rejected demands for further packaging regulations. Otherwise, a large amount of packaging would be viewed in a bad light and there would be an increase in composites that are difficult to recycle. Alternative packaging - using aluminium, for example - is more expensive and has a higher carbon footprint than plastic.
It is necessary that the plastics recycling sector works together with packaging manufacturers to increase the use of recycled materials in their products.
Best Plastic Management GmbH (DEU), Board Member of the BIR Plastics Committee