The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) is calling for immediate financial aid for the recycling industry to offset the high energy costs and inflation that threaten the livelihood of its member companies.
Both issues were raised frequently during BIR’s recent World Recycling Convention in Dubai.
‘Most of the more than 650 attending companies, many of which are SMEs, reported on the huge burden that sky-rocketing energy costs put on their operations, threatening their survival on the medium to long term,’ BIR says in a statement.
It adds that, throughout the commodity sessions in Dubai, reports of unprecedented pressure on profit margins, financial losses and bankruptcy came to light.
‘In addition, potential or forthcoming trade restrictions impacting exports of recycled materials will – if adopted – result in long-term market disruptions that will heavily impact circular value chains and therefore result in additional constraints for the recycling industry.’
BIR urges national governments and international legislators to enact immediate financial aid for the recycling industry ‘to prevent significant long-term damage to a sector that plays a pivotal role in the global circular economy and the protection of the planet’.
At the convention, Francisco Donoso, president of BIR’s paper division, said many mills were ‘on the limit’ and one of the leading tissue producers in Germany, Hakle, had permanently closed its plants and begun insolvency proceedings.
‘The high cost of energy – and specifically gas – … have become by far the largest production cost for mills. They cannot pass on this cost in their sales prices because demand for their products is also low owing to the financial crisis, and neither can they reduce their energy costs. Therefore, the only cost they can manage is what they pay for their raw material.’
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