Plastic film piles up in the U.S. due to Green Fence

Plastic film piles up in the U.S. due to Green Fence

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Washington's Thurston County recycling center once collected 15 tons of plastic film each month from county residents. With high demand overseas, the county had no problem receiving and selling the film.

But today, four months of collection of the once valuable asset is piled high in the recycling center lot, and there's little hope it will be going anywhere fast. LeMay, which runs the site, has announced it will no longer collect consumer plastic film as of Oct. 1.

China's "Operation Green Fence" has affected American exports of various recyclables, including plastic film, as China tightens its regulations on what it is willing to accept. That's caused American companies like LeMay to struggle to find a new market for their products. "The problem is we don't have a market for it," LeMay district manager Jeff Hardwood told Washington's KIRO-TV. "China is saying we are only going to accept the high value material we have a demand for now."

Jim Silver, a volunteer who runs a recycling program at a nearby senior living community in Thurston, responded to the news with determination, telling KIRO-TV: "This stuff has to have a new way to serve the public, society. We can't have it in landfills."

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