Ahead of the Petcore Europe Annual Conference 2024, the President of Petcore Europe, Antonello Ciotti spoke to Argus Media about the outlook for recycled PET (rPET) and virgin PET resin markets.


2023 was a challenging year for both the virgin and the rPET markets. Demand from the packaging sector was lacklustre amid the background of high inflation and the cost-of-living crisis in Europe. And reduced consumer confidence generally weighed on the markets.


At the start of 2024, market sentiment is more optimistic and Antonello Ciotti told Argus that the markets are very dynamic. There are the provisional anti-dumping duties in place on PET against China, which includes both virgin PET resin and rPET. But more relevant than this currently, is the crisis in the Red Sea. This is increasing both the cost and the logistic cost of imports, but also is increasing the timing to move the goods from the Far East into Europe by at least two weeks. European PET resin and rPET prices are moving up in January as a result.


The final discussion of the new Packaging, Packaging and Waste Regulation (PPWR) and the implementation phase of the Single Use Plastic Directive (SUPD) is currently underway. Ciotti said “In the SUPD, we are very concerned about the fact that each member state could go in a slightly different direction, somehow undermining the possibility of having a common market for our goods in Europe.” There continues to be uncertainty in the market around aspects of the regulations and questions around scope, definitions, and the inclusion of chemical recycled plastics remain [unanswered].


The SUPD intended to increase collection and recycling of PET in Europe. European recyclers report that domestic collection schemes such as deposit return schemes are typically more are typically more expensive than collection systems abroad. “There is no way that European collection could be competitive with the collections made in India, in China, in Egypt, or in Morocco. So, we must be clear, if we want to push European collection, we have somehow supported the burden of the extra cost.” Ciotti said.


Legislative and voluntary targets are expected to strengthen the rPET market in 2024. The SUPD sets out an obligation for PET bottles to include at least 25pc recycled content by 2025. This is 25pc of the weight of the bottle, so includes the label and cap that are typically not made out of PET, meaning that an average of 30% rPET content  is expected to be included in bottles to reach this target. “But we need somehow to better define how to manage the imports.


There were stories in 2023 claiming that some producers outside of Europe, since the price of rPET was so high in Europe, were using new bottles without being filled, but these new bottles were simply used to produce rPET. Or that in some products, claiming to contain a certain percentage of recycled content, in reality, recycling content was approaching zero. We need to protect the European consumer from this general greenwashing that somehow is dictated by unfair practices mainly coming from outside of Europe.” Ciotti stated.


The full podcast is available here and more insightful updates to follow at the upcoming conference in Brussels, on the 7-8th February 2024.



1. Registration & Agenda

The tickets for Annual Conference 2024 are available HERE. Stay updated and please check our dedicated website for more information about the agenda & the speakers of the event. The registration will be closed on the 5th February 2024 at 6 PM CET.


2. Hotel Reservation 

If you require an overnight stay in Brussels, we recommend making a reservation at the Indigo hotel. Please be advised that the number of rooms is limited. 


3. Troubles with the reservation

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with registration, please do not hesitate to contact us:


The Petcore Europe Team is looking forward to meeting you all at our upcoming event of 2024!   

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Maria Trofimova

Digital Communications Officer, Petcore Europe

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About Petcore Europe

Petcore Europe is the association representing the complete PET value chain in Europe since 1993.

Its mission is to ensure that the entire PET industry is well aligned to enhance its value and sustainable growth, to represent the PET industry before the European institutions and other stakeholders, to ensure that PET is positioned as an outstanding packaging material and recognised as environmentally sound, to support and validate innovative packaging solutions from a recycling perspective, and to work with all interested parties to ensure a continuous increase of PET post-consumer collection and recycling.

PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) is a strong but lightweight form of polyester. It is used to make containers for soft drinks, juices, drinks, water, edible oil, fresh food and dairy as well as household cleaners and other non-food applications. PET bottles and food containers, such as sheets and trays are perfectly recyclable while they help to reduce CO2 emissions and food waste.


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