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Soaring raw plastic prices affecting all consumers

Plastic shortage causing price hikes
Posted at 7:21 AM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 08:21:59-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Dynamo Cycle president Danny Clark says the plastic shortage has been felt in the Coastal Bend, along with a 15 to 20 percent increase in prices on different items in this Corpus Christi brick and mortar store located on Ayers Street.

“Various helmets, gear, parts, even some basic items with plastic like bottles,” said Clark.

It's not just motorcycle parts. If you go to the grocery store some shelves are empty from beverages, dishwasher soap to paper goods and plastic bottles.

A recent CBS report shows almost everything on store shelves is coming from overseas through ports that are backlogged. That jam is affecting multiple products.

“Whether its here made in the U.S., made out East, made out West even stuff from Europe does come at different times, different shortages of raw materials,” said Clark.

That includes raw materials like PVC, nylon, and plastic pellets.

“At some point it just gets so expensive to do things in plastic and that’s my main concern,” said A&B Plastics and Fabrications owner Mark Gilliam.

According to Independent Commodity Intelligence Service Figures, the price of PVC used for pipes, medical devices, credit cards, vinyl records and more, has skyrocketed by 70%.

The price of epoxy resins utilized for coatings, adhesives and paints has soared 170%.

And ethylene, which is considered the world’s most important chemical and is used in everything from food packaging to antifreeze, has surged 43% in the past year.

“I wouldn’t expect a big change in the next year,” said Gilliam.

To understand the increase in prices, Gilliam says we have to look back to February 2021.

“The freeze actually shut down production at the same time demand was going up," Gilliam said. "Couple that with the shortage of materials needed to produce the plastics that already existed because of COVID, it just created fa really big problem."

Gilliam says he serves more than 100 customers in different industries. Now, they are all impacted by the delays.

Experts predict items made with plastics will remain harder to come by through this holiday season.