PET recyclers in Germany are battling low collection volumes and high energy costs, putting them at a disadvantage with European and international competitors, warns one association based in the country.
The Federal Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Management (BVSE) says the collection rate of of waste PET bottles stands at around 50% of the volumes sold in Europe. This means that many PET recycling plants in Germany are running at less than full capacity because they are not receiving enough material to recycle, warns the association.
And even though Germany has an effective deposit system in place, volumes from Germany drain away to other European countries to subsititute missing volumes there, it adds.
In addition, the German renewable energy law (EEG) is making production costs high compared to non-German competitors.
Herbert Snell, VP of plastics recycling at BVSE, says the both Germany and Europe need the value chain to work better and is calling for an increase in collection volumes and fair competition.
BVSE's warning only weeks after Plastics Recyclers Europe (EuPR) made a similar complaint.
Earlier this month, the trade association said the recycling industry across the region is threatened by “persistent structural market failures”.
As well as the problem of stagnating bottle collections, recyclers are having to deal with a trend for intensive lightweighting and complex bottle design, which pushes up the cost of recycling, said the group. Such increased costs cannot currently be corrected by further economies of scale, it added.