Plastic recycling suffers as crude oil prices drop


Plastic waste collectors who make a living out of the sale of used plastics to recycling companies used to earn a lot more from their picks.

But things have changed now.
Recycling companies are now offering less money for the same amount of plastics purchase from the plastic waste collectors.

Atsu is a collector and he tells JOY BUSINESS’ Kuuku Abban his margins have dropped sharply.

“Instead of the recycling companies increasing the prices for us they’re rather reducing it, and we’re losing so much.”

“The companies were previously paying us 1 Ghana Cedi for one kilogram of the raw materials (plastic waste) that do not have water in them and 90 pesewas for those that are filled with some amount of water but now they are paying only 70 pesewas for all the raw materials. They sometimes even reject our collections. So now we’re losing so much.”

Another plastic waste collector called Auntie Ama lamented the recent delays by the companies in buying their collections and why they are paid only 75 pesewas per kilogram.

“The reduction in the prices at which the companies buy our collections is affecting us negatively. We don’t have any other work to do so we rely solely on this for survival. Even the ones we’ve brought they’re not even weighing them for us so we could get something from it for our upkeep. All these are making me sick. I don’t even have money for transportation but they are telling me there’s no money, and wouldn’t even weigh my consignment so I could go home. Look at all these things, they’re saying it’s just a kilogram”, she said.

Plastic recycling companies appear to be reeling under pressure following the continuous drop in the price of crude oil on the world market.

Enviroplast Company Ltd is one of the key recycling companies in the country. Chief Executive Officer, Yiadom Kesse, said sales have dropped significantly so they’re left with no other option but to reduce the margins of the collectors.

Director of the Plastic Waste Management Programme, Korankye Adama-Tettey, said “the prices of the raw materials will always change with the varying crude oil prices on the world market. This is because when the prices of the virgin plastics drop (mostly on the world marke), it makes recycling less lucrative. This is because industries that hither to would opt for recycled plastics because of price differentials would rather go for the virgin plastics which goes a long way to affect the prices at which the recycling companies buy the plastics (raw materials) from the plastic waste collector.”

So as the case stands, it’s not entirely fantastic if crude oil prices plummet. It is pretty obvious there are a lot of individuals and companies simply waiting for a surge.


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