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[GreenYes] China bans plastic imports

I thought this was an important article to be aware of as it may have
implications across the US waste stream.

Rob Howe

China bans imports of plastic bag, film waste 03/03/2008
By Nina Ying Sun

Recycling industry "only given a few weeks' notice" of the ban.

3 March 2008 - China, the world's largest destination for plastic
waste, is shutting its doors to shipments of flexible plastics waste.

Starting 1 March, the country will ban imports of "used plastic bags,
film and web," according to a recent bulletin issued by China's State
Environmental Protection Administration, together with four other
ministries: the National Development and Reform Commission; Ministry
of Commerce, China Customs; and the Administration of Quality
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Toland Lam, president of the Recycling Committee of the Beijing-based
China Plastics Processing Industry Association (CPPIA) said: "We were
only given a few weeks' notice." He added: "We still don't know what
to make of this news, but the government seems to set the standards
too high," he said in a speech at the Plastics Recycling 2008
conference, held 26-27 February in Jacksonville.

Tony Tan - vice president of CPPIA's Recycling Committee - said in a
speech at the same conference: "The Customs personnel don't have
enough knowledge of plastics to tell whether a container of plastic
waste is recyclable or not; they also are aware of some trading
companies smuggling waste into China. To solve these problems, they
might as well just cut it off overall."

The news triggered concern among the 600-plus attendees, and CPPIA
immediately arranged to visit Chinese authorities to discuss the

"We would like to report widely collected responses from both Chinese
and foreign companies in the industry," CPPIA's request letter said.

The trade group also is bringing some North American counterparts to
Beijing for dialogue with the government, according to Kathy Xuan,
vice president of CPPIA's Recycling Committee.

"We hope to get an explanation, as the ban doesn't elaborate itself in
terms of details," she said in a telephone interview. "We also hope to
facilitate better communication between the Chinese authorities and
the global recycling industry."

Xuan is founder and president of recycler Parc Corp. of North Aurora,
Ill, which has factories in North Aurora and Qingdao, China.

Meantime, officials at major ports said they will not accept shipments
of flexible plastic packaging waste starting 1 March, if the central
government does not issue further instructions.

l Nina Ying Sun is a journalist at Plastics News China a sister title
of PRW and EPN


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