Timeline last updated: March 15, 2018
Leaders from Waste Management and two giant consumers of recovered fiber last week detailed the variety of ways their operations have been impacted by recent import shifts in Asia. They also laid out some ideas to help lift material quality.
Chinese authorities have issued the first five rounds of recyclable-material import permits for 2018. Compared with 2017, the country has allowed substantially less recycled plastic to enter the country and approved permits for far fewer companies across all material types.
About 85 percent of mixed paper and OCC exported out of California has been bound for China in recent years, and as the Asian behemoth closes its doors to some of those imports, the state’s recycling industry is feeling the hit.
Recyclables exported out of the U.S. are moving to Southeast Asia, where reclaimers and mills are dramatically increasing purchases as China closes its doors to recovered materials. New figures illustrate that shift.