Indonesia asked to review strict import policy

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Indonesia set its new 0% contamination policy following China's National Sword policy

Indonesia risks stopping legitimate trading of valuable secondary material if it does not review its 0% import contamination level of recycled material.

This is the warning from the Recycling Association in a letter to the Indonesian government asking it to review the policy.

Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin argued the contamination level is unworkable with the UK’s current sorting technology.

He said: “I believe it is important to engage with the Indonesian Government on this issue to ensure we keep open a key market for high quality UK recyclate.

"We are working with our colleagues ISRI in the United States, in an effort to see if we can persuade the Indonesian Government of the benefits of workable standards. Unfortunately, a 0% contamination level is not workable.”

Indonesia brought in the restrictions following months of illegal shipments of contaminated waste following China’s National Sword policy, which meant shipments destined for China were instead sent to nearby countries including Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The letter warned that given the UK are 60% net exporters of fibre and Indonesia are 50% net importers of fibre, the policy will have a significant impact on the economies of both countries.

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