The U.S. government has made public an agreement with Canada to continue scrap plastic shipments despite global regulations tightening next year. Environmental advocates are troubled by the deal.
Despite having a robust plastics collection infrastructure, the U.S. is one of the largest contributors to ocean plastics worldwide, according to new findings from well-known plastic waste researchers.
In the U.S., the plastics recycling market has been largely dictated by pandemic-related collection and demand realities. Overseas, a recent Chinese move to restrict recycled plastic pellet imports is posing trade challenges.
Experts with the U.S. EPA say there are a number of potential outcomes from upcoming shifts in global rules governing scrap plastic shipments. Under one possibility, trade in scrap plastic will no longer be allowed between the U.S. and most other countries.
Improper management of scrap plastics in Southeast Asia and elsewhere has increased sharply in the wake of China’s National Sword policy, according to international law enforcement body Interpol.
Another major container ship operator says it’s ending scrap shipments to China as that country prepares to widen its prohibition on imports of recovered material. Meanwhile, insurance providers recently analyzed the Chinese policy and its ramifications for shipping lines.