ISRI Plastics Division Chair Sunil Bagaria represented ISRI with remarks about the U.S. scrap plastics market at ChinaReplas 2018 hosted by the China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA) in September.
Sunil gave very well-received remarks about the transition of the U.S. plastics recycling industry in the wake of market changes spurred by China’s import policy changes, including equipment upgrades and operational expansions. He also shared information about what has driven actions taken by governments in Southeast Asia that he picked up on recent travels.
Government officials also spoke at the conference, giving a clear impression that “there is no going back” on their resolve to protect the environment from plastic waste and scrap imports, even expressing pride for having “stopped the world’s garbage” from ruining China’s environment. It was also clear from the conference discussions that the society that generates scrap will ultimately be responsible for recycling it.
In talking with Chinese recyclers at the conference, Sunil confirmed that only processed plastics that are uniform in shape, color and size will gain entry into China; any mix will be “treated as scrap and shipped back.” Expandable polystyrene (EPS), uniform green PET strapping and film scrap in rolls are also finding their way into the Chinese market.
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