China is Not Prepared to Enact Ban on U.S. Scrap Materials
In a previous post, we discussed China's proposed ban on paper and plastic waste products from the United States. At the time of the proposal, many in the recycling industry worried about the impact that this ban would have on U.S. landfills and the recycling and waste industry as a whole. However, since the ban went into effect on January 1, it is clear that China hasn't quite worked out all of the details yet, creating chaos and confusion for everyone involved.
Lack of Details
First of all, the Chinese government was very vague in creating the ban in the first place. Solid definitions have not yet been put into place, outlining what constitutes a recyclable material and what constitutes waste. China has declared that they will no longer accept parcels of recyclables that contain carried waste, or contamination. However, they have not set out a clear distinction between what is considered waste and what is not.
Lack of Communication
In addition to the problem of understanding the specifics of the ban, the Chinese government has not communicated the requirements clearly to those who will be conducting the inspections to determine which imports will be allowed into the country and which will not. Those on the front lines do not have a clear sense of how they are supposed to enforce the new ban in actual practice. This is causing major delays in shipping yards as officials struggle to sort through the imports for clearance.
Lack of Organization
The entire implementation of this ban demonstrates a complete lack of organization, and it can be felt throughout the entire global recycling industry. It seems as though China rushed the ban into place without taking the time to iron out the details. Provisions in the ban require it to be pushed through right away, without having the finer points worked out that would allow the ban to be enforced effectively.
Lack of Support
Even the World Trade Organization (WTO) is getting involved on this one. At a recent meeting, the WTO criticized the ban for its lack of detail and overly broad scope. Critics of the ban questioned whether or not China would be placing similar restrictions on waste produced by its citizens as it does on imported waste. As part of China's efforts to become more ecologically minded, it would seem that problems would need to be addressed at home as well as abroad. The WTO asked the nation to delay the implementation of the ban until it was more complete.
What This Means for Your Recycling Business
If you are a bit confused about all of this and what it means, you are not alone. In these chaotic times, we at Central Kentucky Fiber Resources, LLC are happy to answer any questions you may have about the implications of China's scrap ban. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how the ban might affect your business.