- Large price and product quality fluctuations hinder trade
- High quality recycled resin in demand
Asian recycled low density polyethylene prices were down on weak demand on Dec. 1 during the year end lull.
Traders said illegal waste trafficking was on the rise amid tightened waste import restrictions imposed by many countries and the high cost of waste management infrastructure. Illegal repackaging of prime resin as recycled resin also made some end-users hesitant, traders said, with sourcing and traceability of the recycled material being an issue.
Other traders were not actively trading due to large price and product quality fluctuations, they said. A trader said the final price was a function of how well recycled resin is mixed with virgin material, with a typically recycled resin to virgin ratio of 5%-10%.
Many brand owners still preferred such local material for recycling as it would fulfil their commitment pledges to reduce local waste. The scattered domestic pricing in Southeast Asia was also due to different labor costs in each country, sources said.
Although some brand owners said they would want to source recycled bales to give to processors, they also ran the risk of bad quality scrap where the yield was too low to achieve the required final quantity.
Recyclers said they hoped to sell to brand owners, but there were some technical difficulties due to the brand owners being required to meet the US Food and Drug Administration's approval rating for resin color and smell.
Recyclers said many high-quality end-converters were particular about the mesh size used and the amount of ash impurities in the recycled resin mix, which was assessed during the final color visual checks.