High quality recycling standards must be met, urges Recycling Association

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

The Recycling Association has warned that high quality standards must be met after it has been reported that Chinese Custom’s authorities are now using x-ray machines to check every container of recyclates that is entering China.

As part of the Chinese National Sword programme, which is running from 1 March 2017 until 30 November 2017, customs officials in China have been told to focus on the quality of waste paper and plastics.

According to the Recycling Association, all containers are being checked using x-ray machines, and where these are not available, then the containers will be opened for examination. All containers will also be weighed to verify their weights.

The examinations are also expected to be checking the level of non-fibre impurities and excessive moisture in bales of paper.

The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: “The National Sword programme shows the importance of our Quality First campaign.

“The UK competes with other countries around the world to provide China with fibre and plastics and we have to ensure that the material is not only legally compliant, but is the best available so that we will still have a market for material we cannot use in the UK.

“Our Quality First campaign is calling for the adoption of EN643 as the standard, which only allows for 1.5% out-throw. National Sword shows the need for this standard to be adopted.”

Cycle Link UK managing director Craig Robinson added: “We are warning our suppliers of these heightened inspections and letting them know that their containers will undergo an x-ray or visual inspection.

“But this should be a warning to the UK, that the Chinese are not prepared to accept sub-standard material. It isn’t just about them receiving material they don’t want, but it is also a public health issue when it comes to moisture.

“Chinese customs have told us that excessive moisture on paper bales can lead to bacterial and fungal problems and they do not want to be importing wet material into their country.”

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