Welcome to the Summer Edition of ISRI’s Plastics Beat! We have all experienced quite a hot summer with more than one heat wave moving across the country. Our industry has also experienced several heatwaves as well with market disruptions, negative press, and other issues which have caused us to all sweat a bit.
Surely, everyone can agree that the market disruptions that have occurred over the past year can be in large part, attributed to the scrap import ban China implemented earlier this year. As a response to these disruptions, it is imperative that the industry develop markets for this “displaced” tonnage. And while the industry must develop new markets and focus on the demand side of the equation, we would be remiss if we were not to discuss the supply side. In this regard, I think we can all agree that our recycling rates are too low. We allow too much good material to be landfilled or wasted by having it contribute to the ocean plastic problem as litter. At ISRI’s recent MRF Summit, many of these challenges were examined. Please take a look at the in-depth article appearing further down in this issue.
And while there are many challenges facing our industry, I am optimistic at our prospects! There are many reasons to believe we are about to turn a corner. We are seeing increased availability of plastic scrap, a growing awareness and understanding for the need of closed loop recycling systems, and increased pressure on brand owners to use more recycled content in their products. All of this, in my opinion, is reason enough to be optimistic.
Our board meeting is right around the corner, October 21 – 24, in Charleston, SC. At our Plastics Division meeting, we will discuss this and many other issues to help our industry. I look forward to seeing you there!
Sunil Bagaria, GDB International Inc.