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American Waste Recycling Industry Association: China Or The First Ban On The Import Of Plastic Waste
Sep 25, 2017

A recycling association in the United States says it will raise concerns that China may ban or restrict imports of recycled materials, and that waste plastics could bear the brunt of the problem.

At a press conference on June 13, the washington-based waste recovery industry association (ISRI) said it would be highly concerned and revealed that the restrictions were set to begin in early 2018.

Robin Weiner, President of ISRI, has repeatedly said that the ban is a rumor, but is widely circulated in the annual general assembly of the European waste recycling association (BIR) in Hong Kong at the end of may.Weiner and other ISRI executives attended the BBS.

ISRI think originated in China on April 18th President xi jinping hosted by the senior team announcement to the discussion on its calling for tougher measures to restrict imports of waste, and put forward the healthy and environmental problems.Some Chinese recycling industry officials also explained that the announcement was a leading factor in the import ban.After the BIR meeting, the ISRI delegation traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese government officials for more details.Weiner claims that, given that China is the largest export market for U.S. waste, they briefed U.S. embassy staff on concerns about the industry.

"We take these rumors seriously," said Adina Renee Adler, senior director of government relations and international affairs. "despite the rumors, they are not officially confirmed."She said the group had met in Beijing with officials from the general administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine, which oversees the import and export business.

Adler said that while there was no specific comment on the ban, it might have been hinted at in meetings with the Chinese government.

Weiner says it's not clear why plastic is the most likely banned material.She speculates that there may be negative reports of material processing in China.Or that has to do with the documentary "plastic kingdom", a documentary film festival in North America and Europe has received the attention, and it is reported that Chinese government officials have focused on and watch the film.The film, based on a small plastic processing plant in shandong province, shows the serious pollution caused by China's plastic recycling industry.She went on to say that China may also be trying to promote the development of the domestic waste collection industry.

Weiner argues that it appears that the focus of Chinese government officials is not the quality of imported goods, but the need for domestic industries to import high-quality waste from abroad."It's interesting that the focus doesn't seem to be on imported goods, but on domestic processing," she said. "it's worth trying to figure out."

Adler said the ISRI learned that ban period is more than 5 years, basic and since January 2018, the plastic may bear the brunt, after a year or two, will be mixed metal, is of high value metals followed by three to five years' time.

He also said that China's ministry of environmental protection would lead the establishment of new rules, but ISRI could not meet with the agency.ISRI said another official announcement will be made in July.ISRI said the ban appeared to be unrelated to the "state of the sword" campaign, which aims to crack down on imports of smuggled and poor-quality recycled materials, launched by the Chinese government in February.ISRI's initial plan for China was to learn more about the sword,

ISRI argues that the "sword" campaign is similar to China's 2013 "green fence" for scrap imports, but the ban could be different."More anecdotal evidence suggests that the ban could be more severe," said Joe Pickard, chief economist at ISRI.He says the recycling industry is turning to other countries, including southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Latin America and the Middle East.However, ISRI argues that these markets will have a hard time replacing China's position, and any ban would have a significant impact on American industry.ISRI is working with the U.S. government and European recycling organizations to put forward a plan for trade cooperation with China.

Weiner said: "we believe that if a comprehensive ban took effect, may reduce the volume of trade value 5.6 billion, tens of thousands of people in the United States, in turn, affects the employment, and a large number of factories will be closed down."