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Plastic Recycling May 16, 2019 09:30:07 AM

U.S. Hit Hard by Fresh Curbs on Global Plastic Scrap Trade

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The amendment adds ‘other’ and ‘hazardous’ plastic waste categories to the control regime.

U.S. Hit Hard by Fresh Curbs on Global Plastic Scrap Trade

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The recent approval of the Norwegian amendments to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste by world countries has impacted the U.S. As per sources, an increased portion of scrap plastic shipments would now come under the purview of the new treaty, making things even more difficult for U.S. scrap exporters, who have been struggling to find new markets once China stopped accepting scrap on environmental grounds.

The amendment adds ‘other’ and ‘hazardous’ plastic waste categories to the control regime. As a result, it requires prior consent of importing countries before approval of the shipment. Furthermore, it has to be accompanied by additional documentation detailing how the material is processed.

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the U.S., being a non-party country, is permitted to export Basel-controlled materials to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, comprising mostly of developing nations. Therefore, the new controls are unlikely to impact the trade with Canada and Mexico- two of the largest destinations of plastic scrap exports from the U.S. The shipments to most of the European countries are also unlikely to be affected.

However, the recent changes would cover shipments to Asian countries such as India, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Incidentally, the U.S. has been exporting more plastic scrap to the above countries since Chinese curbs on imports.

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