The EU-level trade association, EuPC, has launched a strategic alliance to safeguard Europe’s plastic converters from materials shortgaes and rocketing prices.
The alliance, says EuPC, was formed in response to the EU polymer industry declaring force majeure on 34 separate and consequent occasions since early March 2015, which it says “exacerbated an already tense situation” on the EU polyethylene and polypropylene markets, leading to an inflation in prices.
''The unavailability of certain grades of polymers and record polymer prices have forced some converters to close production lines. The situation will continue to worsen if nothing is done,” commented Alexandre Dangis, EuPC’s Managing Director.
EuPC Members set up the ‘Strategic Alliance for Polymers in Europe’ under the leadership of Ron Marsh [former CEO of a major plastics packaging group and guest to the EuPC Steering Committee].
Figures from EuPC show the plastics converting industry is a major EU employer and source of growth in Europe, employing more than 1.7 million employees and generating an annual turnover in excess of €280 billion.
However, the association says in order to continue this success, the plastics converting industry needs more dialogue and long-term vision in the polymer supply chain, as well as a prompt suspension of EU import duties on polymers, which are not being supplied in sufficient quantities in Europe.
"We hope that polymer producers in Europe will reinvest current margins in the ageing European production sites in order to maintain a credible European polymer base to serve the plastics converters in a sustainable manner. Europe drives innovation in plastics packaging and thinking in waste management. Investment here safeguards global markets,” Dangis concluded.