Could China’s Ban Increase Quality in the United States?
China is known as one of the world's largest importers of waste. They took this waste and recycled it into new materials. Recently, they issued a notice to the World Trade Organization stating that they would no longer accept 24 different types of waste imports after 2017. It is believed that this will have a significant impact on the recycling trade in the United States. One of the ways that the U.S. may be affected is by improving the quality of fiber materials.
Why an Increase in Quality is Needed
One of the reasons why China has issued this notice is because contamination has wreaked havoc on the industry. In order use recycled fibers, such as cardboard, newspaper and other textile and paper fibers, the fibers need to be quality material. If they are poor quality, it is hard to make anything new out of the materials that are useful products. If fiber manufacturers in the United States do not increase their quality, they may find that consumers cannot recycle the material and in turn, consumers may avoid their product, opting for quality products that can be recycled.
What Opportunities the Ban Presents
This ban presents opportunities for both companies who manufacture materials and those who recycle materials. Those who produce materials are going to likely be put in a position where their products need to be recyclable or need to last for a period of time. If their products are trashed early on and are not recyclables, our landfills in the United States can begin to fill up much quicker than before. This may cause lawmakers to step in and create bills and laws for manufacturers to follow to ensure there is an increase in quality.
The other opportunity that this ban presents is for companies that recycle materials. Many recyclable materials have been sent to China to be recycled into new products. This is because China was equipped to handle bulk recycling and to do so at a low price point. Now that they will no longer be taking in a lot of our waste and recycled materials, local recyclers have the opportunity to step up their game. They will have to invest in materials that help them sort, bundle and recycle materials, making us less dependent on overseas entities, such as China.
The fiber and recycling industry is expecting big changes as a result of this ban. Here at Central Kentucky Fiber Resources, we are committed to recycling products to have a positive impact on the environment. This topic is currently evolving and may change within the next few months. If you are interested in staying on topic of this subject or other recycling news, subscribe to our mailing list for the newest blogs and updates!