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ISRI: China’s Final Scrap Import Standards Disappointing for Recycling Industry

(Washington, DC) – In response to the publishing of the final Environmental Protection Control Standards for Imports of Solid Wastes as Raw Materials (GB 16487.2-13) – the quality standards for imported scrap by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has released the following statement:

“ISRI is very disappointed to see the Chinese Government finalizing its Environmental Protection Control Standards and failing to take the opportunity to bring them in line with global standards that reflect manufacturing requirements and are utilized by environmentally responsible recycling operations in the U.S. and around the world” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “We continue to be supportive of the Chinese Government’s drive to improve the environment in China, but we continue to hope that such support can be realized through collaboration that achieves China’s environmental improvement goals without impairing trade of high quality, specification-grade scrap commodities required by China’s manufacturing sector. ISRI continues to respectfully request an opportunity for dialogue on these critical issues, and obtain a delay in implementation to ensure full compliance.”

In November, China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its intent to lower contamination thresholds. Despite filings and feedback from the global recycling industry, led by ISRI, on the negative impact these thresholds would have on trade, China’s final standards remained the same:

Smelt Slag 0.5
Wood 0.5
Ferrous 0.5
Nonferrous 1.0
Electric Motors 0.5
Wires and Cables 0.5
Metal and Appliances 0.5
Vessels 0.05
Plastic 0.5
Autos 0.3

ISRI will continue to follow this development and proactively represent the industry with the U.S. and Chinese governments and other stakeholders. 

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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents more than 1,100 companies in 21 chapters in the U.S. and 35 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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