Industry pens letter to ministers to act on China's import ban

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

Four government ministers have received a joint letter from The Recycling Association and Confederation of Paper Industries requesting their help over the proposed China recyclate ban.

The letter came after news that the Chinese government had recently notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of its intention to ban the import of all scrap plastics and unsorted paper by the end of the year.

It was sent to ministers Liam Fox, Greg Clark, Michael Gove and Mark Field.

Usually, there would be 60 days after a WTO notification to allow for comment, yet the Chinese government closed the consultation period after two days.

In the letter, the trade associations requested that the government asked to extend the deadline and argued the Chinese government should take some responsibility for its manufactured goods "in the interest of the circular economy."

Adrain Jackson, president of The Recycling Association, said: "This action by the Chinese government seems draconian and against the spirit of international trade, especially as many companies, including our members, have worked hard to improve quality.

"But for those materials that are still allowed to be exported to China, this ban should serve as a warning. Unless the whole supply chain takes responsibility for the recyclability of a product at the end of its life, then key markets such as China will disappear."

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