VDMA survey says rebound expected in 2021 / More hiring likely / Sales down some 12% in 2020 / Circular economy paper offers suggestions
Germany’s plastic and rubber machinery sector is expected to rebound in 2021 after a double-digit sales decline in the first year affected by the pandemic, according to the plastics and rubber machinery division of the country’s engineering association VDMA (KuG, Frankfurt; Sales fell around 12% in 2020 despite a 7% increase in incoming orders, a VDMA spokesperson told Revenues were expected to have fallen to EUR 6.9 bn in 2020 from around EUR 7.8 bn in the previous year.

A poll said member companies in the division expect the order situation and turnover volumes to show positive developments in 2021, the association noted. The demand for plastics and rubber machinery “clearly changed across all regions” in the second half of 2020, said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, chairman of the division. “The situation in China and Germany is seen as particularly positive. And expectations regarding the development of incoming orders in the current first half of 2021 are entirely optimistic.”

Nearly half of the member companies polled said they expect sales to improve in the first half, with the majority predicting the upturn will come in the final six months of 2021. The optimistic outlook extends to staffing for almost half the companies, which said they plan to add employees, the division reported.
VDMA presents paper on circular economy
The plastics and rubber machinery division also helped produce a recently issued VDMA discussion paper about the circular economy. The paper, “Sustainable use of plastics - pro Circular Economy”, calls for “product-specific use quotas for recyclates” at the EU level, the VDMA said. “This would allow plastics to be used several times and reduce the CO2 balance. The aim is to realign the raw material markets and make the use of recyclates more attractive in terms of price. So far, they are more expensive than newly produced plastics, because their production is oriented towards the very favourable crude oil prices.”

“Restrictions on the use of recycled materials should be put to the test,” said Karl Haeusgen, VDMA president, who asked why waste bins in some municipalities are not allowed to be made of recycled plastic. “We need regulations that promote the use of recyclates across the board, or at least do not unnecessarily hinder it.”

The VDMA is also calling for a ban on exports of plastics waste to countries with low environmental standards.
16.03.2021 [247209-0]
Published on 16.03.2021
VDMA : Kunststoffmaschinen-Fachverband erwartet ein gutes JahrGerman version of this article...

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