Rising plastic prices to impact UK Ecology sector

Global plastic prices are set to increase 5-15% with knock on effect to amphibian and reptile exclusion fencing costs

Global plastic prices are set to increase with immediate effect by 5-15% as a result of sharp increases in plastic feedstock and energy costs.  One UK based plastic wholesaler which Contract Ecology has used for over 7 years states that Brexit is to blame with the falling value of the Pound resulting in them paying 15% more for the base products they in turn supply to us.

The price rises not only affect imported products but also UK stocks of polymers and other raw materials that are traded in Euros or US Dollars.  Plastic additives too are set to increase in cost by up to 15% including antioxidants, light stabilizers, flame retardants and other plastic additives.

How does this affect the ecology sector?  Although there has been a push by some well marketed brands to encourage ecologists to invest in permanent newt and reptile exclusion fencing for their mitigation schemes based in part on the rigid panels being made from recycled materials which in turn can be recycled upon project completion, such sheets still require a measure of virgin polymer materials for stability.  Even temporary amphibian exclusion fencing also known as drift fencing, requires raw plastic pellet and UV stabilisation to ensure longevity otherwise the membrane would turn brittle and quickly perish after a sunny summer season.  If you have ever commissioned an inexperienced fencing contractor to install newt fencing on your behalf you may be familiar with this issue as often they will assume that damp proof course or DPM will suffice.  It will not.  Specialist wildlife fencing contractors like ourselves would never use this material due to its short lifespan and litter risk.

Then of course there’s pitfall traps used to capture newts and toads, bottle traps for great crested newt surveys, artificial badger sett tunnels, and badger bait marking pellets, yes these colourful little pellets are actually the raw polymer used in the plastic extruding process (commonly made into plastic shopping bags).

Newt fencing is a commodity that has in recent years seen price reductions as the availability of suppliers increased, however with all manufacturers facing surges in base material costs and with no guarantee of price stability for 2017 it is unlikely that wildlife fencing contractors can continue to offer such bargains.

Contract Ecology has the benefit of currently holding a quantity of newt fencing membrane and pitfall trap stock at 2016 prices, ready for early installations in the 2017 mitigation season.  If you have a newt or reptile trapping scheme for which you would like to receive a free quotation or require any further information,  please contact one of our habitat team now on 01772 731404.  More details of our wildlife fencing services can be found here: https://contractecology.co.uk/fencing-services/