You would think that recyclable materials and chemicals should do well with manufacturers and retailers looking for cheaper and more environment-friendly alternatives during a global economic recession.
Unfortunately the excess waste of the economic boom era as well as the current weak demand for products (thus the slow-down of manufacturing) seemed to have driven the supply balance to tilt more to its side.
According to a report from Greenbiz.com, the production slowdown in China because of the global economic recession is the major driver for the slump in demand for recycled materials in the US and the UK.
US scrap dealers and recycling firms are reportedly seeing growing stockpiles from California companies and they are said to be refusing drop-offs from the public or charging customers for picking up materials as well. Rebates for paper and cardboard in New England communities drop from more than $100 a ton to as low as $30 and $40 a ton, according to Greenbiz.
The market data provider BCC Research reported that the recycling industry in China processed 142.3 million metric tons of waste material last year. Metals such as aluminum, copper, iron and steel have the largest share of the market, accounting for 76.7 million metric tons of recycled materials in 2007. Recycled waste paper is the second largest segment followed by recycled waste plastic.
According to ICIS news, even recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) prices in Europe were facing downward pressure because of competitive virgin plastic prices mostly coming from Asia and the Middle East.