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China Rejects North American Recyclables

From our friends at SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America):


DATE:                    July 20, 2017

SUBJECT:             China Announces Intent to Ban Certain Waste Imports


The Chinese government notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 18 of its intent to restrict the import of 24 types of solid waste by the end of 2017. In the filing, the Chinese government states the need for these restrictions due to “large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes” being mixed into imported materials.


SWANA has been in contact with officials at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and industry experts in the field, to understand the scope and implications of this WTO filing.


It is important to note that these restrictions are meant to address the problem of “solid wastes that are highly polluted.” The need for foreign imports to support Chinese production needs, as well as the high quality of most U.S. and Canadian-based recycled materials, is likely to mean that most paper fiber will continue to be accepted from North America.


Attached is an article from Waste 360 that summarizes the ban and provides context for it within ongoing Chinese efforts to address contamination in imported wastes. SWANA CEO & Executive Director David Biderman is also quoted in the article.


SWANA will continue working with government officials and industry leaders to ensure our membership remains informed on the effects of this action. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 240-494-2237. We ask you to please share this and futures updates with Chapter and Technical Division members as appropriate.


See the article from Waste 360 here.