China, the world’s largest recycler of waste paper, has announced that it is totally banning the import of 24 waste streams including unsorted mixed papers and mixed plastics. 1.1 million tonnes of mixed paper are imported to China from the UK each year.
The Chinese government had already been campaigning to block imports of illegal and low-quality waste under a crackdown called Operation Green Fence launched in 2013. However, this latest move bans certain wastes outright.
As the second largest importer of goods in the world (behind the USA), China’s announcements have sent shock waves through the waste commodity market. Our waste team has already been advised by suppliers that prices paid for mixed papers are falling.
The move by Beijing is due to a crackdown on “foreign garbage” and environmental pollution, including unsorted scrap paper. The United States, whom along with Japan are one of the biggest exporters of waste to China, has already seen the price paid for old corrugated cardboard drop. This is also predicted to be imitated in the UK.
The effect is also being felt in the price for raw materials – our packaging team reported on the 2nd October that packaging prices were rising – recovered cardboard prices in China have nearly doubled as demand increases.
Many clients are turning to us for advice on what is a volatile market at the moment.
For more information please contact us.
Article by: Dan Howells