The U.S. continued to ship less scrap plastic overseas during the first half of this year, federal trade data shows.
U.S. companies exported 510 million pounds of scrap plastic during the first six months of 2022, down 22% year over year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau recently released June numbers, allowing Plastics Recycling Update to compare the first half of 2022 with the first half of 2021.
For years, the amount of plastic being exported has been falling, and this year saw that trend continue.
Here were the top 10 downstream destinations for U.S. scrap plastics during the first half of the year:
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Canada received 162 million pounds (down 18% year over year), Mexico 93 million pounds (up 16%), India 52 million pounds (up 33%), Malaysia 51 million pounds (down 57%), Indonesia 25 million pounds (down 13%), Germany 18 million pounds (up 427%), Vietnam 16 million pounds (down 69%), El Salvador 16 million pounds (up 44%), Turkey 14 million pounds (down 18%) and Hong Kong 6 million pounds (down 58%). The rest of the world took in 57 million pounds of scrap plastic exported by the U.S., down 37% year over year.
The top 10 destinations list for the first half of 2022 had some interesting changes. Namely, Germany jumped from No. 19 in the first half of 2021 to the No. 6 biggest downstream destination for U.S. plastic. Taiwan dropped from No. 9 in the 2021 to No. 16 in the latest list.
Plastics Recycling Update examined the first quarter export stats in June.
More stories about exports
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- Thailand moving ahead with plastic scrap import ban
- Canada bans some single-use plastics, eyes labeling law