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China set to introduce 0.5% out-throw limit

November 21, 2017


The Recycling Association’s latest media release reveals that the Chinese’s government’s new out-throw limit “will be extremely tough to meet.”

Last week, the Chinese government informed the World Trade Organisation that it would be implementing a 0.5 percent contamination level on waste materials, including plastics, paper and cardboard, apart from the 1 percent it would allow for non-ferrous metals.

This new limit “will be adopted on 31 December 2017” but would only be officially enforced on 1 March 2018.

The Recycling Association noted that while this new out-throw limit “will reduce the out-throw level from the current 1.5%”, it was still higher than the limit of 0.3 percent proposed back in August.

In terms of plastics, “only post-production plastics are allowed to be sent to China” and material from both post-industrial and post-consumer sources remain “on the prohibited list.”

In addition, China revealed that it would “reduce the number of waste import licenses allowed in 2018.”

The Recycling Association President Adrian Jackson said: “While we welcome the flexibility shown by the Chinese Government in raising the out-throw limit to 0.5% from the original 0.3% that was proposed, this is still a very, very challenging target. We would have liked to have seen paper and cardboard given at least the same out-throw target as non-ferrous metals that are allowed 1% contamination.

 “We should be under no illusion that a 0.5% contamination level will be extremely tough to meet, especially with only until 1 March 2018 to hit that requirement. From now, every part of the supply chain has to focus on quality first, so that we can continue to send secondary materials to our biggest purchaser.

 “The Recycling Association understands that the WTO has requested a transition period of five years, and we will be pushing for the Chinese Government to give more certainty to the worldwide recycling industry by taking on board this request.

 “However, with plastics now banned, apart from a very small amount of post-production material, this should serve as a warning that unless we produce a quality product from other materials, we could risk losing the Chinese market altogether.

 “Let’s now take this as an opportunity to make the UK the best market for quality recycled products.”

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