India Seeks ISRI’s Guidance for National Recycling Policy

The Indian Government hosted a conference this month with recyclers - from India and around the world - to obtain input as they finalize a national recycling policy.
As a cap to many months of engaging with the Indian Government in partnership with the Materials Recycling Association of India (MRAI), ISRI was not just invited to participate, but Indian government officials considered ISRI’s input to be among the most crucial for a complete understanding of a successful recycling industry. ISRI Chairman Brian Shine and Senior Director for Government Relations & International Affairs Adina Renee Adler provided technical guidance on the core aspects of a mature and responsible recycling industry, such as the acknowledgement that scrap is not waste, free and fair trade, the use of ISRI Specifications and the incorporation of environmental, health and safety management for responsible recycling.

Why this matters … At a time when the industry is learning to adapt to a closing Chinese market, Southeast Asian governments are struggling against capacity constraints due to both trade diverted from China and a raging trade war, the Indian Government’s forward-thinking on recycling – and ISRI’s opportunity to influence that thinking – is a welcome opportunity to help shape an even more dynamic growth market for scrap trade.

Recovered paper and fiber exports from the United States to India have nearly doubled in the first half of 2018 over the same time period last year, and an Indian Government policy to eliminate the pre-shipment inspection requirement for metal scrap from six countries, including the United States, has also facilitated a doubling of trade in just the first half of 2018 as compared to last year. Although the Indian Government’s intent is to create a policy – and, eventually, physical infrastructure for domestic recycling, scrap trade with India is not likely to abate any time soon.

But, but, but … Well, no buts about it! Having ISRI’s perspective actively sought out by Indian policymakers was a unique opportunity and a responsibility ISRI did not take lightly. We will be tracking the development of India’s recycling policy very closely, and once it has been finalized, we will provide a detailed analysis for ISRI members.


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