04 March 2013 16:50 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--There are concerns within the European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) flake market about increasing variance in grades between flake producers compared with previous years, sources said on Monday.
This has been attributed to a change in input material with higher levels of contaminants entering the feedstock chain.
“There are different qualities on the market as not everybody has good flake production ... The inputting quality is getting worse and worse. For the time being recyclers are struggling to get a decent quality,” a flake producer said.
Sources added that more sophisticated separation equipment is increasingly needed, as higher quantities of waste product are degrading material quality for those without sorting operations.
“The quality of the [post-consumer[ bottles is going down all across Europe. Light-weighting is part of it - some collection schemes want to collect more than just bottles so [there’s] more contamination. If the recyclers don't have the equipment to sort - and if you didn't need it before  then you don't have it - then flake is of worse quality,” a flake buyer said
This has led to a two-tier market, according to sources, with lower grade flake material being sold at substantially lower prices, while there is less demand – particularly for colourless material – as it cannot be used in premium applications such as for conversion into food-grade pellets.
“Each supplier has their own quality - this is correct – but prices aren't differentiated between the quality,” a flake buyer said.
($1 = €0.77)
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