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28 June 2019

BPIF Cartons Market Commentary by Mike Jackson, Managing Director, Prismm Environmental

BPIF Cartons Market Commentary by Mike Jackson, Managing Director, Prismm Environmental

The market for recycled paper is extremely challenging at the moment. Prices for some paper and cardboard grades such as OCC and mixed papers have fallen as low as those that were seen when the market crashed in October 2008. While medium to high grades of paper are seeing steady reductions into UK and European mills.

OCC for example is at less than £55 per tonne at present, compared to almost double that at the same time last year.

The main reason for this is that China has drastically reduced the amount of recovered paper it is buying. Another is that the uncertainty around Brexit has made it more difficult to find haulage into European mills. The slowdown in the global economy has also made mills across the world consider their purchasing volumes. It looks like these downward trends will continue until the end of 2019 and into 2020. 

The story in the plastics market is completely different as some grades are going for record rebates. But these are artificial prices. A rapidly rising Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) market for plastics has boosted the value of these materials. At the time of writing, the PRN was at £260 with up to £280 being quoted. It has been rising daily. 

The speed in which paper prices are dropping, and plastic prices are increasing is making it a very difficult market for recyclers, even with years of experience, to work within. It is now more crucial than ever for printers to have some expert knowledge and advice on their own materials to make sure they are getting full value.

Prismm Environmental are happy to answer any questions you may have about the recycling market and offer a free consultation to BPIF members. Call Mike Jackson on 01689 860 274 or Jon Hutton on 07557944237.  

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