The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted industries across the globe, including scrap plastic.
KW Plastics, a pioneer in the plastics recycling industry, processes about 500 million pounds of High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP) per year and its manufacturing division, KW Container, consumes 100 million pounds of PP per year.
The automotive industry is a major user of HDPE and PP and when it shut down due to the pandemic 35 percent of KW’s business became dormant.
Oil prices have also been hit hard by COVID-19. When oil prices fell, scrap plastic followed the same trend. “It has really depressed the value of plastic material, which ultimately really depresses the value of scrap items,” said Scott Saunders, general manager of KW Plastics.
There is a glimmer of hope for scrap plastic as some automotive manufacturers have reopened this month.