This January, China began enforcing stricter contamination standards for twenty-four categories of recyclable materials. It’s called China’s “National Sword” policy and, for environmental and economic reasons, it’s an important story to follow.

In 2017, about one-third of the recyclable plastic and paper generated in the U.S. was sold to processing mills in China. Now, due to a lack of North American mills, U.S. recyclers are struggling to find alternatives. Until those demands are met, much of the plastic and paper waste may have nowhere to go but landfills.

Meanwhile, China has begun buying new resin to replace all that reprocessed scrap. This, along with their rapidly expanding middle class, is accelerating the growth of China’s already robust consumption rates. On the supply side, North American resin producers continue to enjoy the raw material cost advantage that comes from plentiful natural gas. Our resin has never been more attractive to the rest of the world.

China’s new directives are just the last of a number of recent occurrences that have driven the market for polyethylene in unexpected directions. If you’re a North American resin supplier, you’re pleased for the demand gains, of course.
If you’re a distributor, it’s just harder to plan your purchases.

Laddawn enjoys a unique place at the table. As a national manufacturer with extensive stock inventories, we have both visibility into the world’s resin markets and sourcing leverage that others do not. It allows us to stay ahead of supply and demand changes and to weather more of the market’s unevenness. It’s why you get custom prices on Laddawn.com that reflect true costs at any moment. And, it’s what allows us to hold stock prices longer and to make the most moderate adjustments the market allows.

Finally, there are now 18 custom printed product categories for which you can log on to Laddawn.com to get a price and lead time in minutes. It’s a list that now extends from simple printed Layflat and Zipper Top bags all the way to printed Lip & Tape Bags, Wicketed Bags and Poly Mailers. Sourcing and sales professionals will turn to Laddawn’s Print Designer nearly three thousand times this month. Will you?

On behalf of all of us in Atlanta, Boston, Cedar Rapids, Dallas and Reno, thank you for your business.

— Ladd and Dawn