Recycled polymers could help stimulate a return to plastic product manufacturing in the UK. Keith Freegard, director of Salford-based Axion Polymers, asserts that changing attitudes towards sustainability and rising costs for Far Eastern producers will present interesting market opportunities for British businesses.
Branded producers and retailers in the UK have recognised the need to offer customers sustainable products using recycled raw materials from the nation's "well-developed plastics recycling chain", adds Freegard.
Though they have "traditionally struggled to compete against the manufacturing might of Asian producers", he forecasts that this may change by "tapping into the UK's proven plastics recycling infrastructure".
Freegard foresees a "growing trend" for some of the manufacturing activity to "migrate back" to the UK. Now importers are confronted with rising labour prices, higher electricity costs and excessive custom transfers. He adds that this development would result in shorter supply chains and reduced lead times, as well as simpler stock management.