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European association sees cloudy future for electronic scrap plastic

June 03/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Members of the Arnhem, Netherlands-based European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA) say they are facing difficulties arising from a Basel Convention decision of 2019 that is sometimes referred to as the Norwegian Proposals.", said Recyclingtoday.

The proposals were made by Norway to reduce ocean plastic litter by controlling exports of mixed and contaminated plastics, says EERA. The association adds, The logic behind these proposals was that these mixed and contaminated plastics may only be delivered to compliant recyclers so that it is certain that the non-recyclable plastics do not get dumped and ultimately become marine litter."

Currently, the Basel Conference of Parties and the EU must now align EU law to incorporate these decisions, and the EU therefore drafted a delegated act in which only clean separated plastics may be transported as green-listed waste under a new Basel Code B3011 (the prior code B3010 will cease to exist), says EERA.

Any mixed plastics would need notifications either as non-hazardous mixed plastics under the Basel Code Y48 (or EU 48 code) or as hazardous contaminated plastics under the new Basel code A3210, adds the association.

EERA says it is afraid that shredded mixed WEEE [waste electrical and electronic equipment] plastics carry a  risk of being classified as hazardous waste at the start of 2021. Our WEEE plastics recycling industry would face serious problems over the ones that we already face, as [recyclers] do not have permits to take in hazardous wastes; this decision risks having devastating effects on the economics of recycling WEEE plastics, states the association.

Adds the EERA, With the falling oil prices, virgin plastic prices have deteriorated enormously [to] as low and below the cost level of [making] post-consumer recycled plastics from WEEE. This is a serious threat to the WEEE plastic recycling industry, and EERA is calling for not only recycling targets but also for rules so that the [consumer electronics] industry is using post-consumer recycled materials."

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 383,760 tonnes in the first two month of 2020, up by 14% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased due to the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 192,760 tonnes in January-February 2020, down by 6% year on year. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main decrease in imports.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, packaging.
Category:General News
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