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Indian association to promote recyclers’ interests

India – Metal recycling companies and scrap processors have grouped together to form the Metal Recycling Association of India (MRAI). The organisation has been spearheaded by Iqbal Nathani, President of the Nathani Group of Companies who also serves as Ambassador for India for the BIR world recycling body.
‘Challenging times call for extraordinary measures,’ says the new association. ‘For the first time in India, all ferrous and non-ferrous metal scrap processors, importers, traders and recyclers have come together under one umbrella to form the MRAI.’

Headquartered in Mumbai, the MRAI aims to bring together the various regional recycling associations and individual member companies within the one body. Its first meeting was attended by representatives from 40 companies and a number of associations including the Bombay Metal Exchange, the Ahmedabad Metal Exchange, the Induction Furnace Association, the Jamnagar Metal Exchange Factory Owners Association, the Ahmedabad Non Ferrous Association and the Southern Non Ferrous Importers Association.

Key MRAI objectives include: promoting recycling within India; liaising with all Indian government agencies and associations; and working with international bodies such as BIR and the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). The MRAI’s ultimate objective is to become the voice of the recycling industry in India.

Mr Nathani says the formation of an all-India recycling association has been in the pipeline for many months. However, the initiative gathered momentum when India’s Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) published its notification on July 21 which classifies all types of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap as ‘hazardous’ waste and which permits only ‘actual users’ to import scrap without any licence or restrictions. The notification runs contrary to the Basel Convention which classifies scrap as non-hazardous waste. ‘Given that around 90-95% of India’s annual imports of over 5 million tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap are imported by traders, the latest MoEF notification has serious implications,’ says Mr Nathani.

Once Basel Convention signatories become aware of India’s re-classification of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap as hazardous rather than as non-hazardous waste, they will no longer be allowed to export these materials to India, it is pointed out. At a time of global raw material shortages, such notifications will serve only to help other countries such as China, South Korea and Pakistan to secure their raw material requirements without competition from India, states MRAI.

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