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Crisis in the Plastic Sector (FREE)

I've spoken to a few CEO's and senior executives from the plastic industry and the feedback is that they're going through a difficult time. They didn't use the word "crisis" but I will. This is a FREE article.


Let me resume the problem:

companies have overstocked and can’t get rid of their stock.


During the covid lockdown, supply chains were placed on hold. Metaphorically speaking: the fuel supply was cut and the global economic engine was stopped.

This situation created some kind of “industrial fear or anxiety” … in the sense of: we’re not going to be able to buy the goods that we need.

After the global covid lockdown, companies started to re-stock “en masse” to avoid being in the same situation as during the covid crisis. Re-starting the industrial engine wasn’t as easy as expected but things were getting in place.

China showed the world that they were the “croupier” or “deal maker” at the global economic table. China was the most important vacuum of natural ressource and goods when restarting the global economic engine.

But apparently, there seem to be more at stake beneath the surface: Many people believe that underneath the “China rules the world” mantra hides Western (financial) interests operating under the “Chinese dragon” costume. China is just the “croupier of the table”, they’re not the owner of the casino.

Then the Ukraine-Russian war started. This created a huge “price” inflation and other “uncertainties” regarding energy, fertilisers, supply chain, food supply, etc

However, to be exact … the Russia-Ukrainian war stopped the “covid” lockdown craziness but people didn’t assimilate the war immediately as they were too euphoric to go back to work, and recover their freedoms and liberties.

The price of everything went up and the whole world discovered that … as the joke says …. everything came from Ukraine: from tomatoes, to olive oil, from feta cheese to champaign.

The salaries of (some) EU citizens were “indexed”, labor costs went up and increased the “production” costs.

A globalised market was supposed and expected to resist the pressure created by the removal of one or two countries (Ukraine and Russia) from the global economic equation; but it didn’t. The global market seems to be much more volatile than assumed.


You would expect the industry to blame Putin or Russia for the current fiasco …. but funnily enough, most corporate execs blamed the European Commission for mishandling the situation. I’ll try to resume the remarks that I heard:

  • Does the European Commission know what they’re doing?
  • Is the European Commission not a bit disconnected from reality?

Someone told me this metaphor: if your two neighbours are fighting, and you want to stop the fight; you’re not going to stop the fight by arming one of the neighbours …..

Average EU Joe

The fact that corporate execs are blaming the EU is a bit funny because the “Average EU Joe” (man in the street) also blames the EU Institutions (I’m not sure if they mean the EU Commission, Parliament or Council …. or maybe all of them) for the “economic” situation emerging from the covid lockdown and the Russia-Ukrainian war.

In contradiction to the corporate execs, the “Average EU Joe” also blames the US for the escalation of the Ukraine-Russian crisis. And this, I’m almost certain, even Putin wouldn’t have dreamt of this. In fact, I found this a bit surprising but then again, it shows that there is still some kind of latent “anti-americanism” amongst the average EU citizens.

It’s maybe also related to the “woke ” movement. I don’t like to call it a movement because most people don’t even know the existence of this word “woke”.

A better word to describe it is …. a Zeitgeist….(l’esprit du temps) … the mood or spirit of the time.

The realisation that the mainstream media is a “system” media defending the status quo and that the truth is bit more “nuanced”. People seem or believe they know that the truth is not black or white … but a bit grey-ish.

And the fact that people start to have a more nuanced point-of-view in general is, I think, a positive evolution.

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