International Trade

Rising demand for recycled materials is essential for the health of the planet and for the global economy. By providing a resilient source of raw material, recyclers help keep  supply chains moving and preserve natural resources.

Through the process of buying and selling, valuable recycled material moves to where there is demand. It becomes essential feedstock utilized in the manufacturing of new products worldwide. More than 800 million metric tons of valuable recycled materials are consumed worldwide each year.

In the United States, export sales of recycled materials significantly benefit the U.S. trade balance. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. International Trade Commission, the United States exported more than 38 million metric tons of recycled materials valued at $19.2 billion to more than 150 countries in 2019. 

As the largest supplier of recycled materials in the world, the U.S.-based recycled materials industry is truly the first link in the global manufacturing supply chain. ISRI aggressively advocates initiatives that promote free and fair trade of recycled materials. It remains a key component of ISRI’s Advocacy Agenda

Key Markets
Trade Compliance

ISRI is a staunch advocate for responsible recycling, regulatory enforcement and improving the quality of materials in compliance with our internationally-recognized Specifications. Trade contributes to the well-being of the planet and provides a vital lifeline for communities around the world to take part in the growing demand for recycled materials, and compliance begins here at home.


Shipping Recycled Plastic
Shipping Plastic Scrap 180x150

Gain a better understanding of what plastics can and cannot be exported and to where under the Basel Convention rules.



Have Questions?