Israel’s Only Plastic Bottle Recycler Shuts Down

Plastic bottles and other plastics lie washed up on the north bank of the River Thames in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

The only factory in Israel that processed recycled plastic bottles has closed down. The Aviv factory in the Naot Haviv Industrial Zone near Be’er Sheva was the destination for all plastic bottles that were collected in recycling bins throughout Israel. With the closure of the factory, the bottles will be exported to recycling centers abroad. Most of the firm’s 70 workers were sent home.

Last year, it was reported that the factory was facing financial problems, and as a result cut down on its activities. The owners attempted to cut costs, as well as applying for subsidies from various government agencies, but the efforts did not work out.

Among the reasons for the factory’s closure, Yediot Acharonot reported, was the drop in the price of raw plastic, due to increased manufacturing capacity in the Far East. Manufacturers prefer to purchase new plastic instead of recycled, and Aviv was unable to recoup production costs, as salaries and electrical costs rose.

Under Israeli law, the two companies that collect plastic recyclables are supposed to recycle 80 percent of what they collect in Israel, despite the fact that they were receiving less money for their plastic than they would abroad. However, the law was never enforced, the report said, and now with the closure of the Aviv factory, there is no possibility for it to be enforced.