Government-approved quotes for plastic scrap imports into China for 2018 are thus far “only a fraction of the corresponding batches in the preceding year,” according to Steve Wong, president of the China Scrap Plastic Association (CSPA). Wong also is chairman of Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Corp. and serves on two committees for the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).
Citing government data in an emailed dispatch to CSPA members, Wong says “batch one” of the import quotas for 2018 have authorized just 9,335 metric tons of unprocessed (nonpelletized or nonflaked) plastic scrap to enter China. That is a more than 99 percent reduction compared with the more than 3.8 million tons authorized in the first batch of quotas in 2017.
Wong wries, “If this approval rate is continued for the subsequent import permit approvals, the major recycling operations in China, which used to rely on imports, would be forced to switch to sourcing from domestic supply. The common view of the industry is that there will be no reversal of China’s solid waste imports policies beginning in 2018.”