China is a magnet for recycled materials worldwide, and that's not a fact lost elsewhere in Asia, including in Pakistan.
One of country's more prominent PET recyclers, Shazil Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd., in January finished an expansion to quadruple its capacity to 50,000 tonnes a year, and made its first appearance at the Chinaplas trade show looking for new business.
About 90% of its recycled PET flake is exported to China, the company said.
The company is expanding to get better economies of scale and be more competitive in global markets, which are suffering from low raw material prices, said Ilyas Vohra, director of the Karachi-based Shazil, in an April 28 interview at Chinaplas.
“Primarily because of the oil prices sliding down drastically, the price levels have reduced a lot and the profit margins have squeezed to minimum levels,” he said. “The market is not as strong as it used to be.”
Still, he said the company sees opportunities to send more of Pakistan's recycled PET flake to China, particularly with lower production costs as a result of the expansion.
“The reason for expansion is it is very obvious that we wanted to establish ourselves as one of the leading recyclers around the globe,” he said.
The company started recycling PET in 1999, and Vohra claimed it's carved out a niche as the market leader in the country, in part because it makes strong efforts to recycle in an environmentally sound way.
“We are the only company in Pakistan that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in Pakistan, to process recycled materials and the disposal of the wastewaters and the noise pollution,” he said.
Shazil also meets the standards set by China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the requirements that developed from China's “Green Fence” crackdown in imports of recycled materials in recent years.
“As a growing company and a very professional company, we are monitoring [Green Fence] compliance very carefully and we have no problem exporting to the Chinese market as far as compliance,” he said.
Shazil, which has 250 employees, is part of a group of companies under the Shazil name, including in concrete manufacturing, packaging and other industries.
It started recycling PET in 1999 because it was in the textile business trading with China, and was looking for a product it could export there, he said.