Resource Recycling News

Data Corner: U.S. paper and plastic exports still declining

This article appeared in the March 2023 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.


When China implemented its National Sword policy in 2018, ceasing all imports of mixed paper and most forms of scrap plastic, the U.S. lost its primary export destination for those commodities practically overnight. In the years since that abrupt upheaval, overall exports of both scrap plastic and paper have seen steep declines.

The charts below were compiled based on the data from the U.S. Census Bureau and show specific export levels for each year, beginning in 2018.


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