4 Simple Ways to Save Money by Avoiding Scrap Plastic Material Rejections

Life in the scrap plastic trade is always more fun when the deals progress smoothly and every customer is happy with what they purchased. Unfortunately, there are times when this doesn’t happen, and the customer rejects the delivery of materials. Whether it’s a misunderstanding or miscommunication, no scrap plastic trader wants to see a load of scrap plastic bales get turned away at the buyer’s doorstep.

Scrap plastic material rejections can create logistical problems, erode profits and undermine trust in a business relationship. It’s best to avoid all of these headaches by avoiding the material rejections in the first place.

Here are a few time-tested tips on how to avoid material rejections in your scrap plastic transactions:

  • Verify in person: If you’re buying scrap plastic from a supplier for the first time, it’s often best to visit the material onsite, prior to purchase. This is the best way, hands down, to get a sense of the supplier’s operation, see how the material is stored, see how it is baled, handled and shipped, and learn more about the supplier’s business.
  • Verify by photos: In-person visits are great, but they’re not always feasible. So when you can’t make an in-person visit, it helps to obtain photographic evidence to show the scrap plastic material and ensure that it meets the parameters you need. We recommend obtaining previous loading photos, updated high resolution pictures of the material in the warehouse, or photos of the material wherever else it is stored.
  • Pay attention to storage conditions: Storage matters a lot in determining the ultimate loading weight of scrap plastic bales. For example, if materials have been stored in a climate-controlled warehouse protected from the elements, then that is a good sign that the plastic bales will be dry and free of debris. If you get photos from a supplier showing plastic bales that are stored outside, this is an opportunity to question the supplier on pricing. When plastic bales are stored indoors, it prevents moisture contamination which adds to heavier bales and affects pricing. The drier the plastic bales, the better. But whether the bales are dry or moisture-contaminated, make sure you get what you pay for. (We also wrote about this topic in our previous blog post on “What to look for when buying mixed plastic bales.”)
  • Clarify expectations: The quickest way to get a plastic scrap material rejection is to have a buyer get an unpleasant surprise. You never want your buyers to say, “This isn’t what I paid for. Send it back.” To avoid this predicament, make sure that you and your trading partners have a strong, well-worded, accurate description of the material with the supplier that includes expected weights, any contamination, color of the plastic, etc. This ensures no surprises. You should also know the expected weight on the truck as that could put an entire deal upside down and upset someone who was expecting 40k lbs of scrap plastic and only got 30k.

Overselling and under-delivering is the wrong way to do business in the scrap plastic trade industry. This business is based on personal relationships and trust, and material rejections undermine that trust. If you deliver what you promise, people will come to rely on you and you will have plenty of trading partners for years to come.