COVID-19 damages supply chain for deposit materials

15 Apr 2020

Stay-at-home orders are hitting container deposit systems hard, leading to significant declines in the volumes of high-quality recyclables moving to material processors.

Eight out of the 10 states with container redemption systems have enacted temporary measures limiting deposit returns in some way. The fallout for recycled material processors has been expansive.

With less material coming in, companies are shouldering higher costs as they scramble to supply their customers and adapt to the fast-changing landscape. In other cases, they’re curtailing operations temporarily.

The material shortage comes only weeks after states began adopting stay-at-home orders and other regulations limiting economic activity to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We’re learning how critical recycling is to the supply chain for packaging,” said Susan Collins, president of the Container Recycling Institute, “and how vulnerable it is to this kind of disruption.”

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