In late July, the Chinese government filed a notification with the World Trade Organization proposing to ban the import of 24 solid waste materials, including certain types of plastic and unsorted waste paper. And in late August, the Chinese government said it would impose a 0.3 percent contamination standard on bales, and both actions were slated to take effect by the end of 2017.
These actions are currently affecting the global market and causing those in the recycling industry to make changes to recycling operations and programs. In Silicon Valley, Calif., for example, recycling processors are working with the city of San Jose to access regulatory challenges over storing and stockpiling additional recyclables in case of a market slowdown.
San Jose Inside has more information:
China’s crackdown on imported scrap paper and plastics is about to shake up the global market, and it will likely bring major changes to Silicon Valley’s local recycling programs.
By the start of 2018, China intends to ban imports of 24 types of papers and plastics as part of a militantly titled “National Sword” campaign to reduce contamination and build its own recycling systems. Beijing detailed the plan to the World Trade Organization over the summer, which prompted fears that an influx of leftover recycling scraps will pile up in U.S. landfills.
San Jose’s Environmental Services Department has been in talks with the city’s recycling contractors about how to deal with the effect of China’s toughening-up on import standards. It’s unclear how the ban will impact local landfill diversion requirements, but the city is now assessing regulatory challenges over storing and stockpiling additional recyclables in case of a market slowdown.