The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) released an update on how the waste and recycling industry has responded to India’s recent decision to set tighter limits on contamination. These limits from India come a few years after China began to do the same before banning the importation of mixed paper in 2018.
“The waste and recycling industry is resilient and continues to adapt to evolving market conditions as international markets change and domestic markets grow. The report from NWRA is a snapshot. This is a dynamic situation that is subject to change,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith in a statement.
According to NWRA’s update, “Approximately 38.3 percent of all paper recovered in North America was exported in 2018. For the past two years, more than 40 percent of mixed paper exports went to India. However, India is set to reduce the allowable contamination for mixed paper to only 1 percent with random inspections of five bales of mixed paper for each container, which is causing some disruptions in the export market.”
“As a result, all mixed paper exports to India have halted until there is certainty in India’s requirements. The domestic impacts of this disruption vary regionally. The most significant impacts are being felt on the eastern seaboard; except Atlanta, which has sufficient domestic capacity. Barring any further changes from the export markets, these disruptions are anticipated to be temporary, lasting 30 to 60 days. This is a fluid, dynamic situation that is subject to change.”