China's decision to severely crack down on the import of recycled plastics is being felt throughout the world.
And ripples of that move will be evident at NPE2018 as the world of plastics gathers once again for the triennial gathering.
Erema North America Inc., the machinery maker for plastics recycling, will be at the show as usual, along with a wide range of other companies involved in the plastics recycling industry.
The company sees an opportunity for people in the United States to take advantage of the situation.
Many people made lots of money over the years simply by baling recovered plastics and sending them off to China for recycling. That was not out of the ordinary as that country became a huge outlet for a variety of recycled materials.
China first made news several years ago with its Green Fence initiative to clean up the plastic recycling stream. Green Fence was not as stringent as the current effort, dubbed National Sword, but it grabbed the attention of recyclers at that time. Things changed, but commerce ultimately continued.
National Sword, instead, has essentially outlawed the import of recycled plastics and other materials into China.
Martin Baumann, vice president of sales at Erema North America, calls the situation "dynamic" and says there is opportunity for domestic recyclers.
"Above all, China's no longer being an international consumer for post-consumer waste plastic is a dramatic development, but since, unlike waste plastic, high-quality recycled pellets can still be exported to China, this represents a potential opportunity for plastics recycling in the USA and Canada," he said in a statement.
Erema will be demonstrating its Intarema T 1108 at its booth, processing clean low density polyethylene waste without preshredding. The company also will provide information on what the company calls "the world's first rPET inline Preform system."
The company will additionally highlight information about melt filters from the company's Powerfil business unit, which will be at NPE2018 for the first time.
As usual, NPE2018 will feature a variety of plastics recycling related exhibitions. Here's a rundown of those companies that responded to a Plastics News request for information regarding their activities at the show.
Vertellus Specialties Inc. (Booth S10155) will introduce two new technologies for "driving increased use of recycled polyester in nylon resin" and "enhancing the benefits of recycled" PET at NPE2018, the company said.
One Vertellus product is a compatibilizer that creates alloys of recycled polyester and nylon that "enables new materials with performance properties similar to those of virgin nylon, but with a significant cost advantage."
The company also is showcasing a technology for upgrading recycled PET and, possibly, bio-plastics by providing higher clarity and better performance at lower doses, the company said.