Due to low oil prices and coronavirus, demand for plastics scrap has dropped dramatically and so has the processing and shipment of materials, confirms Max Craipeau of Hong Kong-based Greencore Resources, which operates recycling facilities in Asia and Europe.
In 2018, the company successfully started up a plant in Surabaya on eastern Java, Indonesia. But then came the virus and shipment of high quality granules to China stopped between January and March, said Craipeau during an online discussion on global scrap trade, hosted by the Bureau of International Recycling. He said the good news was that business was picking up again, although not yet back to pre-pandemic levels.
On the move
Craipeau also told the online audience that many multi-nationals based in the USA, Europe, Japan and South Korea were already looking to move manufacturing operations from China to other countries in the region. However, he said, ‘you cannot switch such a huge production capacity overnight’ and the process could take ‘months or years’.