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ISRI's Statement on China's Announcement of Import Ban on Additional Recyclable Materials

(Washington, DC) – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) released the following statement in response to the Chinese Government's announcement that more recyclable materials will be prohibited for import over the course of the next two years:

“The Chinese Government’s announcement will have an impact on more than 676,000 metric tons, worth about $278 million, in U.S. scrap commodity exports to China in the first year and another 85,000 metric tons worth more than $117 million in the second year,” says ISRI President Robin Wiener.  “Although we anticipated more import restrictions would be announced, we remain concerned about the effect these policies have on the global supply chain of environmentally-friendly, energy-saving scrap commodities and will instead promote an increased use of virgin materials in China, offsetting the government’s intent to protect the environment.”

The new prohibited items include the following:

  • By end-2018: steel slag, post-industrial plastics, compressed auto pieces, small electric motors and insulated wires, and vessels.
  • By end-2019: wood pellets, stainless steel scrap, and nonferrous scrap excluding aluminum and copper.
The policy follows earlier announcements to prohibit 24 categories of recyclable materials beginning on January 1, 2018, and the imposition of tighter quality standards on all scrap imports beginning on March 1, 2018.


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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents more than 1,300 companies in 21 chapters in the U.S. and more than 40 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating nearly $117 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides nearly half a million Americans with good jobs.

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