Recyclers have warned that the value of a number of recovered materials has fallen over the past few months.
Local authorities are particularly badly hit as the value of used newspapers and poorer quality mixed paper have fallen. In the plastics sector, prices paid for film and used bottles are also down and this is compounded by the falling oil price. And, the price for glass cullet has tumbled in the wake of a drop off in revenue from PRNs (packaging waste recovery notes).
In terms of material markets, on the newsprint front, the forthcoming closure of one of UPM’s paper machines at its Shotton mill in north Wales is seeing a surplus of used material arising in the domestic market. Overall, UPM is cutting the amount of used newspapers it uses by about 800,000 tonnes across Europe with the closure of other machines.
Eventually, there should be a reduction in the amount of used newspapers in the marketplace as less new newsprint is made because fewer newspapers are being sold, but it is expected that this process will take at least twelve months to smooth out.
Commenting on market conditions Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, said: “Plastics have taken a big hit, which has caused significant problems within the industry. Paper prices have come off a little but it is not all doom and gloom because most grades are still moving OK.
“This reaffirms something we have been advocating which is that commodities prices are almost an irrelevance if you have the right contracts in place that move in line with the market.”