Today is a good day to be in the plastics recycling business. Tomorrow as well. And for the foreseeable future.
With rising interest and appetite for recycled-based products and packaging, demand remains strong for plastics recycling equipment as 2021 looks to turn into 2022. Company officials contacted on the Fakuma trade show floor to discuss market conditions do not expect that to change anytime soon.
Buyers and sellers throughout the plastics industry returned to the halls and hallways of Fakuma 2021 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, after COVID-19 canceled last year's show.
This is the first time since 2018 that Fakuma has been held as the K Show in Düsseldorf, Germany, took center stage in 2019, just before the virus took hold. Fakuma typically is held in October every two out of three years but does not complete against the behemoth that is K.
The booth for Gneuss Kunststofftechnik GmbH is situated in a front corner of Hall 6, where many recycling related equipment companies are located at this year's Fakuma. The station provides a front-row seat to the daily traffic of the show.
That's where Andrea Kossmann spent her time on the first day of Fakuma. It was getting late in the day, and Kossmann had just finished speaking with someone when she turned her attention to current market conditions when asked for an assessment.
COVID-19 certainly took a bite out of business when the pandemic struck during the first part of 2020, but the Gneuss marketing official said sales have bounced back nicely and continue to be strong, she said.
A main driver that's keeping recycling equipment companies busy even during COVID-19 times is approaching European Union regulations requiring recycled content in PET beverage bottles. These containers must have at least 25 percent recycled content by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030 in a set of rules that also will require tethered caps on single-use plastic products to help cut down on litter and increase recycling.
"The other reason," Kossmann said, "is marketing."
Companies are keen to present themselves as being ecologically friendly to consumers who have developed a strong interest in the issue regarding the products they buy. She indicated residents throughout Europe are more and more interested in sustainability, but the focus is even more intense in countries including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.