Recycling Association criticises UK market following China import ban

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
China intends to ban four classes and 24 kinds of solid waste by the end of the year

The Recycling Association has criticised the UK on its recycling quality following news that China is planning to ban the import of unsorted waste paper and scrap plastics.

China filed a notification with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) this week detailing plans to ban four classes and 24 kinds of solid waste by the end of the year.

Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: "We launched our Quality First campaign almost a year ago to highlight how we risked losing China as our biggest market for recycled materials if we did not get our act together, and now China has taken the action that proves it.

"China's filing of this notification to the WTO has to act as a wake-up call to all parts of the supply chain that quality has to come first."

In the notification, China made it clear that it will no longer tolerate high levels of contamination from dirty and hazardous wastes which it sees as damaging both to its "environmental interests and people's health".

Mark Lyndon Paper Enterprises managing director Colin Clarke added: "We should be clear that China is very serious about protecting its environment and the public health of its citizens. If we do not ensure our exports of paper are of the very highest quality, then we are at risk closing our most important market for recovered paper.

"The UK, Europe and other Asian destinations simply do not have the capacity to take all of our excess recovered paper, so we must make sure China remains open to us by providing it with a high quality secondary commodity."

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