The economic slump is impacting efforts to make plastics more circular. In the August Sustainable Plastics Live, Karen Laird talks about how plastics recyclers are suffering because some brand owners are buying inexpensive virgin resins, and some regulators are delaying extended producer responsibility efforts.
"I find it a bit shortsighted and I'm just wondering where this is going, to be honest," Laird said. "There are macroeconomic reasons why people are having difficulty switching to recycling. There's the higher cost of energy. Recyclers are having a very difficult time right now because of all these factors together. I'm very curious as to how many are actually going to survive, and whether we're going to actually be able to generate the quantities we're going to need in a year and a half. I don't see that happening, to be frank."
She also discussed the recent decision to postpone extended producer responsibility in the United Kingdom, including a deposit and return packaging scheme. "It does seem as if the current financial/economic situation is having quite an affect, in some ways, on the sustainability ambitions."
We also talk about sustainability in the construction market, with a focus on vinyl, including in the window market.