NWRA urges China to accept scrap imports

The Arlington, Virginia-based National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) has filed comments with China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) regarding its draft law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste. Article 29 of the drafted revisions to the law would prohibit the importation of scrap materials by the end of 2020.

“NWRA supports high quality standards for recyclable materials as well as policies necessary to achieve them,” says NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “We believe that by using high quality standards, China can ensure that its manufacturing sector has the raw materials needed to continue to produce goods while ensuring that its recycling industry remains viable into the future. With the improved quality already required, MEE has already achieved significant reductions in solid waste generation by limiting the amount entering the country.”

Pointing to the Chinese government’s seeming inability (or unwillingness) to differentiate between solid waste and secondary raw materials with value, Smith adds, “The material currently being shipped to China is not solid waste; rather it is a valuable feedstock for a manufacturing process. We urge the MEE to modify the standards in the proposed law.”