Published Monday 2nd September 2019

This time last year, prices paid for waste plastics nose-dived – predominantly due to China’s restrictions on low-grade waste imports into the country in January 2018.

China’s position drove some UK processors to send some lower quality materials to Refuse Derived Fuel (Incineration) – the impact on this has been an increase in the price of packaging recovery notes for Plastic.

Global Impact

Other markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India have taken in some of the waste that was previously heading for China. However, India has indicated it will follow China’s lead and ban plastic imports on Aug 31 2019.

In recent months, although we have seen some attempt at stabilisation, the markets remain volatile. Currency fluctuations can also play a part in export pricing and have clearly done so in recent times.

Key Factors to be Aware of

Changing market conditions are the perfect opportunity for some waste suppliers to cash-in. Particularly if clients are unaware of what the changing markets mean for them. Whereas most of these variations will be fair, businesses can be on the end of some bad deals if the appropriate controls are not in place with their waste supplier.

Similarly, when packaging recovery note prices are rising, utilising a cost-effective compliance scheme is imperative. Not all schemes charge the same prices for PRNs so there is value to be obtained by reviewing existing arrangements.

Understanding the market value of materials and keeping abreast of domestic and market trends is what ERA specialises in. Our waste team have been able to help other businesses improve their rebate pricing sustainably for the long term as well as provide advice on which PRN Compliance schemes will provide their business with the best value.

Let us help you save money by implementing the best solutions that work for your business.

About the Author: Daniel Howells, is a Chartered Waste Manager and Waste Management Consultant. He is a former Key Account Manager at one of the largest waste management companies in the UK. Specialising in the development of strategic plans and project management of key long-term projects providing cost saving initiatives. Daniel’s typical clients have included national high street Retailers, Supermarket chains, the NHS and the Construction sector.

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