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BIR: Brand owners choosing prime over recycled.

BIR: Brand owners choosing prime over recycled. Continuing low prices for plastics worldwide have added weight to calls for legislation to underpin the use of recycled content in new plastic products. Recyclers are facing serious business issues as low demand has kept prices under severe pressure, confirms the latest World Mirror released by the BIR global recycling organization’s Plastics Committee (the Bureau for International Recycling).​ The market is unlikely to improve in the short term, largely because it is cheaper for brand owners to purchase prime material, particularly in the PET processing industry. ​ In Europe, prices of recycled plastics have dropped even further over recent months. Despite commitments by brand owners to use more recycled material, low prime prices have persuaded many to take this latter option for financial reasons, particularly in the case of PET. Recyclers have been forced to market their material at huge discounts, to cut production or to stop their lines altogether. The US market for all recyclables has seen a gradual decline and lacklustre demand.​ In China, prime prices have remained mostly the same over the last two weeks as the Development and Reform Commission in Beijing has announced measures to boost energy efficiencies by phasing out/eliminating outdated petrochemical production plants, including PE, PP and PVC production lines. This initiative should help reduce overcapacities in plastic resin supply chains. Demand has remained slow for recycled pellets in China as downstream product manufacturers need more orders.​ Low virgin PET prices in Asia have largely confounded efforts by recyclers to stimulate demand through price cuts. Fast-moving consumer goods companies are said to be prioritizing their bottom lines, leading them to replace the more costly rPET with cheaper virgin materials, thus diverging from their sustainability targets. ​ ​

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