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Better start for US plastic scrap exports in 2017

United States – Having fallen by more than 100 000 tonnes across the whole of 2016 to 1.937 million tonnes, America’s plastic scrap exports made a very positive start to 2017. In the opening month of this year, a total of just over 164 000 tonnes left US shores for a 36% increase over the 120 560 tonnes of January 2016.

Polyethylene scrap accounted for almost 61 000 tonnes of the January 2017 export total for a year-on-year gain of 37% while overseas shipments of PET scrap surged 117% to 28 600 tonnes, according to data released by the US Census Bureau and International Trade Commission.

This January’s exports of polystyrene scrap and PVC scrap were higher by, respectively, 90% and 25% when compared to the opening month of last year.

Despite the upturn in US shipments, there is widespread concern that China’s recently-announced National Sword crackdown on ‘foreign waste’ smuggling activities could have a serious impact on US plastic scrap flows in the coming months.

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