Today, when almost the entire world is under the grip of Coronavirus, the recycling industry is no exception. With each day, complications in the recycling industry due to coronavirus increases, and so increases the worry of recyclers.
Due to an intractable, global outburst of COVID – 19, almost everything around the world has come to a standstill, affecting businesses, productions, trades, and economies. While the locked-down countries have marked various firms and industries as “essential” and have allowed them to continue operations even during restrictions, almost all of them have closed recycling operations.
Below is the summation of some current complications in recycling industries occurring due to Coronavirus.
US/Canada Recyclables’ Trade
Some Canadian recycling programs depend upon the materials exports and imports to the US. Recently, the US-Canada borders have been closed, and according to a write-up of Environmental Law Insights, this closure of borders could cause significant problems to the countries.
While Canada exports a notable amount of waste to the US, various recycling-related materials are imported from there into the country. For now, these cross-border trades might have stopped, but as per the write-up, envisioning a permanent end of US-Canada integration could only be an overreaction. However, there could be a possibility of contingency planning by Canadian programs in case of future border closures.
Europian Recycling Market
In a recent report, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) revealed the staggering of European recycling markets due to COVID – 19, with a suspicion of its long-term damage. According to the report, the lockdowns caused by this pandemic have become a cause of stress for recyclers, and the reasons are:
- limited availability of recoverable materials in collection systems
- upsetting of logistics
- possibilities of demand loss in non-packaging sectors
- the abandoning of sustainability measures by buyers
- a decrement in long-term investments.
ICIS explained the situation citing the example of PET bottles. Nowadays, water is purchased in PET bottles, and unlike earlier, these bottles are no more disposed of after single-use. Resultantly, feedstock availability for recycling is decreasing, and the use of virgin plastic among manufacturers is increasing.
Ohio Recycling Coalition
Ohio Recycling Coalition, a non-profit organisation, helps start-ups and established businesses of recycling, re-manufacturing, reusing, and waste management. In a recent statement to Resource Recycling, the company stated its closure, effective from March 20.
The company’s vision of improving business for the next generation has been debilitated by Coronavirus. The shutting down of businesses and lives due to this pandemic has knocked off the company’s point of focus, which was to reach schools and communities for making them aware of recycling.