Chinese group voices concerns with draft recycling policy

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: September 25, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, Recycling

BEIJING (Sept. 25, 4:35 p.m. ET) — China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection is drafting another policy that could have direct impact on the global market for recycled plastics.

The China Plastics Processing Industry Association’s Plastics Recycling Committee — a group that represents recyclers in China — has sent an official response to the ministry summarizing two main points in opposition to the new draft regulations on imported plastic waste.

The key point in the official letter, which PRC-CPPIA shared with Plastics News, said a regulation that lists import of unwashed post-consumer plastics as an illegal activity “lacks rationality.”

From a technical point of view, post-consumer plastics need to go through sorting, washing and grinding, which should take place in the same stage. Imported waste plastics that are prewashed frequently have a mix of materials, which affects the quality.

The letter added that some types of waste plastics are difficult to dry after washing and will retain 25 percent of water, inflating the import cost. Water could also cause quality issues for engineering plastics such as nylon.

“If [the government] bans the import of unwashed plastics, it in fact will hurt the operation of many waste importers and recyclers with the exception of PET bottle flakes” the letter said.

Second, the letter argues that it is unreasonable to require recyclers to granulate materials before they are sold. The purpose of granulation is to facilitate uniform feeding of the materials. If regrind meets the feeding standards, it is wasteful to go through an additional procedure of granulation.

For example, the group said, clean PET flake is used to make polyester fiber, without having to be granulated first.

“We believe the current regulatory and control measures of waste plastics import are very strict. The double-check mechanism of offshore inspection and arrival inspection at the customs effectively prevents the import of banned materials and pollution. Most importers and recyclers are law-abiding operations. [If the government] elevates the control measures simply because of individual cases of management oversight or malicious behavior, [it] could limit the normal operation of law-abiding businesses and will not be conducive to the healthy growth of the industry,” the statement concluded.

The ministry’s draft policy stipulates the criteria for receiving import licenses and details on facility inspections.

Companies that are eligible to apply for the import and processing of waste plastics include:

• Polyester fiber manufacturers.

• Processors of plastics products and other manufacturers that use waste plastics in the raw materials.

• Companies that make granulated materials from waste plastics.

• Companies that make recycled PET flake with existing annual capacity of no less than 30,000 metric tons can apply to import recycled PET grinds and industrial scrap.

Ineligible companies include firms that make ultrathin shipping bags, food-contact products, medical products and construction supplies (with the exception of decorative products).


Comments

Chinese group voices concerns with draft recycling policy

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: September 25, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Report: Suspected former Nazi with plastic connection collecting Social Security

October 20, 2014 3:52 pm ET

AKRON, OHIO — A one-time plastics executive in Akron is among dozens of suspected former Nazis who have been collecting U.S. Social Security...    More

Image

Corbion Purac collaboration taking bioplastics into even more uses

October 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

Corbion Purac NV's collaboration with Taiwan-headquartered compounder Supla Co. Ltd. and Taiwan electronics producer Kuender & Co. is paying...    More

Image

Metabolix closing Germany operations

October 16, 2014 2:28 pm ET

Bioplastics maker Metabolix Inc. will end business operations in Germany at the end of 2014, according to documents the company filed with the U.S....    More

Image

New Amcor, Method project taking sustainability to a platinum level

October 16, 2014 11:28 am ET

Amcor Rigid Plastics will have a bottle production operation within a factory which is aiming to be the world's first LEED platinum certified...    More

Image

Tetra Pak ready to begin making first all plant-based package

October 16, 2014 9:33 am ET

Packaging giant Tetra Pak is rolling out what it said will be the industry's first carton made entirely from plant-based, renewable packaging material...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events