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China to intensify import crackdown

China – Chinese authorities have been instructed to ‘intensify investigation and punishment’ to better manage ‘foreign waste’.

In a letter to port customs officials, the government calls for immediate action to prevent plastic waste from being ‘mixed or hidden’ among recyclable material, in line with its stricter quality requirements. The missive states that the General Secretary of the Central Committee Xi Jinping, who was elected the new President last November, has imposed a ‘high priority’ on checking containers of waste material arriving from abroad.

‘The party has organised targeted meetings to study and comprehend instructions from the leaders, research measures to tackle the issue, and has decided to organise a special team to crack down on foreign waste,’ it is noted.

These instructions are expected to have a significant effect. ‘We see markets becoming more volatile,’ letsrecycle.com has been told by Yaya Cao, Marketing Executive at the Environment Exchange (t2e).  ‘For those involved, the certainty of traded forward contracts becomes increasingly desirable.’

A UK plastics exporter adds that prices are weak and that shipping lower-grade material to Chinese ports is becoming increasingly difficult, with some instances of containers being sent back.

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