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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

ROP – Plastic prices are rising. Recycled plastic hard to get

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The prices of plastics have been breaking records for several months. However, the lack of a deposit system in Poland means that domestic producers of plastic packaging cannot take advantage of the boom in this market. They have to spend a fortune on importing raw material from ground PET bottles, because in Poland they end up in landfills, writes Rzeczpospolita on Thursday.

Rzeczpospolita points out that “recyclate, mainly from recycled PET bottles, costs EUR 1,350-1400 per ton, almost twice as much as in autumn 2020 and over 20 percent more than new plastic pellets from refineries”. “Prices are rising because food and cosmetic companies are increasingly focusing on environmentally friendly packaging with a greater share of recyclate, and its supply does not increase. The reason: recyclers are lacking raw material in the country” – the newspaper notes.

Plastic prices

– I have been working in the packaging industry for 26 years, but I do not remember the situation when the prices of the raw material doubled in a few months, and the recyclate was more expensive than products straight from the refinery “- says” Rz “Krzysztof Wiśniewski, president of Eurocast, which is a large producer plastic films for food packaging and medical devices.

– It is a paradox that so much plastic, glass and paper packaging ends up in landfills, and we, as recycling companies, do not have any raw material for production. The prices of the popular PET and HDPE bottles, as well as polyethylene film, are at the highest ever. Recyclers must compete for this waste – explains Szymon Dziak-Czekan, president of the Polish Recycling Association.

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Rzeczpospolita reports that “due to the shortages in the country, packaging producers are looking for raw materials abroad”. – We import recyclate from all over Europe – admits Lech Skibiński, vice-president of KGL Corporation in an interview with the newspaper, where over 80 percent. the material for the production of packaging comes from recycling. – Even at high prices, the availability of PET recyclate is currently too low and we have to import it from abroad, including Lithuania – adds the president of Eurocast.


ROP system

The newspaper notes that there is an urgent need for a deposit and bail system, which is to be one of the elements of the extended producer responsibility (ROP) system prepared by the Ministry of Climate and Environment. Rzeczpospolita is concerned, however, that the new regulations will not enter into force before 2023. Meanwhile, the growing demand for recyclate will continue to drive up its prices, increasing the prices of packaged products at the same time.

Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment Jacek Ozdoba announced on Wednesday that the draft law implementing the ROP will be published in August. He added that he hopes that the act will pass the entire legislative path in 2021. The deputy minister did not talk about the details of the ROP project. He said it would be a “backbone, pattern” and the ministry was open to consultations and proposals to amend the regulations.

New extended producer responsibility regulations

At the end of April, there was information in the list of legislative works of the government that the government plans to adopt the project implementing the ROP at the turn of the third and fourth quarter of this year. It was then reported that one of the planned solutions to be included in the draft amendment was to separate the stream of product packaging and packaging waste into packaging intended for households and other packaging (mainly trade, services, industry).

The draft is also to establish a packaging fee to be borne by those introducing packaged products intended for households. It has been estimated that the revenues from this fee in 2023 will amount to PLN 1.5 billion.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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