China’s ban on imported plastic

The global impact of China’s ban on imported plastic and other waste management material is now starting to have major implications. China has imported more than 30 million metric tonnes per annum from all over the world, including the US, UK, EU, Japan and Australia. In July 2017, China decided it would no longer accept what it called ‘foreign garbage’.

China’s ban sets 24 categories of solid waste, including mixed paper and plastic bottles.  The Chinese ban on imported plastic will have a significant impact on Australia .  It is estimated that it will affect an annual average of 619,000 tonnes of materials, that is estimated to be worth $523 million.

For countries like the UK China’s ban will be much more pronounced with almost two-thirds of its total waste exported to China. UK businesses have already shipped more than 2.7 million tons of plastic waste in the last five years.

The problem of growing throwaway plastic volumes means either more landfill or adopting new technologies to overcome the problem.   This could well be a game changer and force a radical rethink of how manufacturers, retailers and designers present products to the market. It will also generate a lot more debate on how packaging waste materials can be recycled to release their ‘hidden energy’ reserves to help solve our growing power shortage. Energy density is set to be a major topic of discussion in Australia as some of the potential shortcomings of ‘renewable power’ are realized.

Recycal has an experienced waste management team.  In conjunction with its sister company CMA Ecocycle they collaborate and work together to handle and process all types of metal recycling, recovering the valuable metals for reuse and reprocessing. The group is committed to looking at new technologies; ensuring it remains a leader in the recycling market place.

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