Material shortages still hitting plastics converters

"Plastics processors in Europe are still suffering despite improvements in overall business conditions", said Alexandre Dangis, speaking about the mounting raw material cost increases sustained by Europe’s plastics processors. The head of EuPC (European Plastics Converters Association) believes that this will potentially slow down recovery in the industry for next year.

"For some plastics we are facing price increases of up to 30% in the period November 2009 to November 2010", said Dangis. "There are still widespread reports of material and additives shortages and processors not being able to get the material to enable them to deliver on their projects".
EuPC advises converters to legally challenge the "increased number of dubious ‘Force Majeure’ declarations" at national level. Added to this, the surge in demand in China is sucking away material to feed a plastics industry hungry for more and supplies are moving to this part of the world. "I’m expecting discontinuity in supply in Europe to extend at least until the first quarter of next year", he added.
Speaking at a Marine Litter Workshop in the European Commission he added "At the same time Europe is exporting large volumes of plastics waste to the Far East and one has to wonder if plastics recyclate will not be of a more strategic importance for European converters in the years to come".
"European Politicians in Brussels will announce very soon their plans on Resource Efficiency for Europe", said Dangis, but he questioned the political will in Brussels to keep manufacturing in the EU. "A solution must be found to ensure for appropriate material supplies being it plastics raw material, additives or plastics waste". It makes no sense from a sustainability point of view to continue to increase and stimulate the exports of European plastics waste – paid for by the consumer – and which is benefitting business and employment in other parts of the world and hurting our industry in Europe.