In January 2019, almost all recyclate prices remained at December’s level, with rPET being the only exception. What at first glance appears to be unspectacular can be interpreted as a sign of remarkable changes on closer inspection – contract prices have remained stable despite significantly declining virgin material prices. Some market observers see this as proof of an increasing decoupling of recyclate prices from primary material prices.

Driving this development is an array of measures taken to increase the proportion of recycled materials in plastics products, resulting in a surge in demand. Recyclate veterans are very aware of this and already trying to secure secondary feedstock volumes for the future in many instances.

This strengthens the recyclers’ position, and the situation should make it easier for them to raise prices in the weeks to come, also in view of increased purchasing costs. Unlike in the past, recyclers’ main focus is no longer to hunt out customers for their recycled materials, but to secure a constant supply of recyclable plastics scrap instead.