Archive for February, 2019

The China Ban Is Driving Commodity Prices Down

On January 1st, 2018, China implemented a ban on imports of 24 categories of recyclables, including mixed plastics and mixed papers. This ban hit the U.S. recycling industry hard because China was the largest buyer of these commodities, receiving over 50% of total exports.

In March 2018, the Chinese government went further still, and imposed unattainable contamination thresholds (0.5%) on the remaining imported materials, with any non-conforming loads sent back at cost to the exporter. In short, they practically outlawed imports of almost all recyclables.

The latest step is scheduled to take place in July 2019, when eight categories of scrap metal will be added to the ‘restricted’ materials list for importing.