Message from MD
The last few years saw the plastic recycling industry go through major changes which caused immense devastation. These changes were structural in nature and were prompted by China’s environmental policy. These changes, combined with the effect on the market from highly volatile oil and commodity prices in addition to the problem of overcapacity, let to a number of players which could not withstand such adversities and the fierce competitions being weeded out. Hit by the prolonged market consolidations and challenges of compliance costs, the surviving recyclers are forced to identify new market niches in order for long term sustainability.
As a result of the Operation Green Fence, exporters in U.S. and Europe tended to recycle at source and sell locally. Exports became their alternative outlets for scraps. In addition, export markets have also been diversified to South-east Asia rather than focusing solely on China due to escalating production costs and tightened environmental control issues.
Nevertheless, plastic recycling is still a very sustainable industry. It’s sustainability is beyond doubt in view of
Being actively pursued for in U.S. , Europe and other developing countries, recycling of post-consumer waste in order to relieve the pressure of landfills and to achieve a circular economy has been adopted as a policy by many countries. On the other hand, the major corporations and brand-owners are promoting the use of recycled plastic materials for their products to achieve the objective of EPR (extended producer responsibility) and PCR (post-consumer recycle). This is going to have a widespread effect and create growing demand for recycled plastic pellets and make our industry more sustainable.
Although China being the “world factory” will continue to be the largest consumer and market for recycled pellets and continue to be our core market, diversification of business and operations to South-east Asia or others is a long term strategy for Fukutomi.
There is no sunset industry but sunset enterprises. The impacts to the plastic recycling industry which caused many to be out of the game during last few years, may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for us. I’m confident that, with the market adversities being over, Fukutomi can revitalize her business strength and open a new chapter for her business history in the years ahead.
FMBA (Hon), C. Mgr, D.Mgr, PhD (Hon)
Managing Director, Fukutomi Company Ltd.
Executive President, China Scrap Plastics Association