Why Papier-Mettler pulled out of planned infrastructure investment – Australia

Posted on January 24, 2024 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling

Which brings us to Papier-Mettler. The family-run German company was founded in 1957 by Hans Georg Mettler as a paper wholesaler business

Source: Why Papier-Mettler pulled out of planned infrastructure investment – Inside Waste

“The sustainability and the success of recycling schemes depends on these end markets,” said the spokesperson. “Without them, recycling just isn’t viable long-term – economically and ecologically.

This correlation proved to be true once again just recently in Australia, in the form of the collapse of aRedCycle. The lack of a sustainable end market caused the scheme to be unable to process the amounts of collected material. Further, the competitiveness of the end product in the free market was not a given.

“Currently, there’s no industry-scale collection program and recycling capacity for LDPE soft plastics,” he said. “There remains a very small amount of recycling capacity for LDPE film waste (around 15,000 metric tonnes, where more than 300,000 tonnes are actually required,) with most of the LDPE material sent off-shore through waste export ban exemptions.

“Globally, we are striving for circularity. We want to be part of the solution. Organisations like Papier-Mettler need the support of policy makers and government in ensuring end markets not only exist but are actively created and sustained for long-term viability of investments and a truly circular economy for plastics. Without an economically and ecologically viable solution to process soft plastic waste onshore into competitive products, the dream of a true circular economy for plastics just cannot come true.” 

It is a pity that companies like this cannot make it as there is no support in Australia.  We should not however allow single use items to be made and say it is ok as most will get recycled.  That is the wrong way to look at the problem of plastic waste.