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Problems for shippers of plastics?

Problems that could arise for exporters as a result of the revision of EU Shipment Regulations were under scrutiny at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) Plastics Committee meeting, which took place at the 2007 BIR World Recycling Conference in Athens May 21-23.

Past Chairman Peter Daalder of Dutch company Daly Plastics BV said, starting this July, EU shipments of materials designated as waste were required to be accompanied by a form which effectively revealed the name of suppliers to the customer. Business owners could, therefore, suffer potentially adverse consequences of this loss of confidentiality, Daly suggested.

Current BIR Plastics Committee Chairman Surendra Borad of Belgium-based Gemini Corp. NV also pointed out that, at the time of the meeting in Athens, China had yet to respond to whether these new EU regulations applied to plastic scrap shipments. If no reply was received ahead of July 12, it is possible that EU exports of plastic scrap could become subject to time-consuming and expensive "red list" requirements, he said.


According to Jacques Musa of Veolia Proprete France Recycling, other major concerns surrounding exports to China included "constant" hikes in entrance taxes and inland transport costs, as well as the strength of the Euro in relation to the U.S. dollar. "Reinforcement of quality controls by the Chinese authorities must be taken into consideration," he added.

As for the French market, Musa noted a decline in available volumes of all forms of secondary plastic at a time of increasing demand.

According to Marc Figueras, who also works for Veolia Proprete France Recycling, conditions in the Spanish market were quite healthy despite a period of "excessive" raw material prices.

In Germany and the Netherlands, meanwhile, recyclers were proving to be "very competitive," Daalder said.

In Australia, plastics consumption was largely "flat" and, yet, reprocessing was recording "double digit" annual growth, Borad observed. At a time of "soaring" exports to China, Australia had set itself a plastics recycling rate goal of 30 percent by 2008.

Also reporting on the Indian market, Borad noted that only 26 industrial units were authorized to import plastic scrap into the country--mainly in the form of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET)--and that no new permits were being issued.

Commenting on the South African market, Bertrand Reverdy of Green Bird in the Reunion Islands said that a "booming" domestic economy in that country had created a huge demand for packaging materials. These materials included PP (polypropylene) and HDPE (high density polyethylene), as well as PET bottles, which were currently enjoying a recycling rate of around 10 percent in South Africa, according to Reverdy.

PET recycling also provided the focus for Plastics Committee guest speaker Corrado Dentis of Dentis SRL in Italy, a company that operates two lines with a combined mechanical recycling capacity of some 35,000 metric tons of PET bottles each year.

Dentis's end products had been sold exclusively into the fiber market only a few years ago, but the customer base had expanded to include manufacturers of sheet material, strapping, bottles and automotive parts.

According to Dentis, modern recycling technology was capable of overcoming any issues related to quality of incoming material, but the lack of available raw material constituted "a major problem" in Europe.

(Additional news about plastics recycling markets, including breaking news and consuming market reports, is available online at
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Title Annotation:PLASTICS
Publication:Recycling Today
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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