Europe’s plastic recycling drive pits consumer demand against economic realities

Oct 09 15:10 2019 Print This Article

Recognition of plastic waste as a global problem has spurred legislation and industry initiatives in the last two years, and driven growth in demand for recycled plastics.

When it comes to developing recycling as a sustainable business, Europe leads the way, and in particular the market for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), best known as the material of choice for plastic drinks bottles. But the evolution of PET and recycled PET (R-PET) markets in 2019 highlighted underlying concerns around profitability and cost, as price trends shifted with changing demand patterns.

Demand for recycled plastics over the longer term is expected to grow in part due to European Union policy initiatives to increase the recyclability and recycled content of packaging. In the short term, the market’s true commitment to sustainability will be tested in the face of unfavorable economics.

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The Barrel

S&P Global Platts provides market insights so people can make more informed trading and business decisions.. They're the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets. Customers in over 150 countries look to their expertise in news, pricing and analytics to deliver greater transparency and efficiency to markets. S&P Global Platts coverage includes oil and gas, power, petrochemicals, metals, agriculture and shipping. S&P Global Platts provides critical information for the commodities & energy markets to make physical commodity markets more transparent and efficient. S&P Global Platts blog, The Barrel, provides the essential perspective on global commodities.

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