China is unprepared to effectively roll out and enforce its planned Jan. 1 ban on imports of certain recyclables, according to recycling leaders who recently traveled to the country in search of answers.
Top manufacturers, recycling stakeholders and environmental organizations want to ban oxo-degradable plastic packaging because they don’t believe it actually prevents pollution.
In Europe, thermoform packaging is using more and more RPET content, but impediments remain to efficient recycling of the thermoforms themselves. A workshop recently discussed the issues.
For years, a European Union panel has given its thumbs up to using recycling processes to generate food-contact recycled plastics, but those opinions aren’t official government “approvals.” Some groups say the lack of official authorization from the European Commission has lead to damaging uncertainty for the industry.
More than three months after China announced it will restrict recyclables imports, key details on logistics and timing of the new regulations remain unknown. But industry associations are piecing together some more concrete facts about the downstream and upstream ramifications of the actions.