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.
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.
A representative from a European firm that has felt the direct impacts of China’s import restrictions on recovered plastic recently offered an inside look at the fallout from the unprecedented disruption to industry trade.
The global recovered paper market experienced “a quite challenging year” in 2017, according to an expert at paper industry research firm RISI. And those challenges are only expected to continue as Chinese import restrictions ramp up.