Genus Recycling expects challenging markets in 2023 but material should keep moving

Genus Recycling

Bury-based Genus Recycling has warned that 2023 looks set to be a difficult year for the recycled paper market.

The company, which was formerly known as Materials Recycling & Consultancy, is predicting overall lower prices than in 2022.


However, after growing its turnover from £7.6 million in 2020 to £17.7 million in 2021, Genus Recycling expects that it will continue to keep moving material into European mills next year due to its long-term supply agreements.

Genus Recycling director Rick Waterson said: “We have seen unprecedented high prices in 2022 for some key recycled paper grades. This came about due to competition from new mill capacity, especially in Europe, and changing consumer habits meaning more people are buying online.

“But with people paying more for energy and their mortgages across the world, we would expect weaker demand for paper-based packaging as they cut-back on spending.”

Director Patrick Kilcoyne added: “Here at Genus Recycling we have decades of combined experience working in the recycled paper industry. We’ve been through tough times before, such as the crash that was experienced in October 2008. In early 2020, we also saw very low prices for grades such as OCC and even gate fees for mixed paper.

“However, what we know is that experienced traders like us have been able to keep material moving during these difficult times, finding mills that need fibre in UK and Europe and achieving the best possible price we can. Even during the uncertainty of Brexit, we were able to serve our European mill partners.

“After the high prices seen in much of 2021 and 2022, it would be unrealistic to expect material to stay at these levels. The second half of 2022 saw prices coming down, and we would expect that to continue in 2023. 

“Markets have been volatile for the last few years, with some mills in some countries coming in strongly and then pulling back once they have the material they need. We expect this volatility to continue, especially in an environment where availability of material and demand is likely to be lower than in the last few years.”

Family-owned Genus Recycling has continued to expand and now has a team of eight people, plus three dedicated contractors. It expects to recruit more people over the coming years as it develops more relationships with waste management companies, print rooms, and retailers/manufacturers.

Director Billie Chadwick added: “Genus Recycling already works closely with our suppliers and UK and European mills and we are continuing our rapid expansion by sourcing and trading more and more material every year. 

“Our deep experience of the recycled paper market means we can provide more services alongside our trading provision. We can provide equipment, collection and logistics support, as well as advise on reporting and legislation. This ensures our customers can be confident they are getting a service they can trust, and that their material is recycled at state-of-the-art paper mills.”