One area receiving a lot of discussion in the US is the automobile bumper market. Sadly high costs in processing together with the low demand for post consumer material, has prevented this market from growing.
The high labour component is recognised in the recycling process where employees use hand-held air saws and other tools to remove metal fasteners and other contaminants from each bumper. Employees than hand feed the decontaminated bumpers, one by one, into a granulator. These granulators can process about 165 bumpers per hour with most of the residue being sold to plastic recyclers. The industry when it includes the costs of labour, storage, processing, and transportation costs cannot sell profitably to plastics processors. Plastic recyclers claim there are also issues with processing, including removal of residual paint.
China market declines
China no longer purchases large quantities of post consumer material and appears poised to implement a ban on imports of some grades of scrap plastics. This will continue to pressure this fledgling industry. With prime material at historically low prices moulders are changing their buying patterns and avoiding the problems associated with residues of bumper materials. The export market is declining and there is likely to be an excess of residue supply from bumper sourced recycling in the US.
Recycal sees potential in the bumper market, but more work needs to be done by moulders and other recycled customers to investigate new applications for the residue. Recycal has the latest equipment and with its efficient recycling processes for cars will continue to provide its customers with high quality residues.