BIR warns that China has tightened rules on importing recycled plastic pellets

Plastic pellets
Recycled plastic pellets

Exporting recycled plastic pellets to China has become tougher, according to the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).

In a statement, BIR warned that since 1 September 2020, Chinese Customs authorities have been tightening the existing regulations regarding imports of plastic pellets.


Fines have been issued between RMB500,000 (£57,000) and RMB5 million (£570,000) for violations of what the Chinese call the “three uniformities”, which are uniform colour, size and packaging.

In parallel, BIR noted that the Chinese are developing an update of the Chinese GB standard for recycled plastic pellets, which will come into force on 1 January 2021. This is expected to make the three uniformities and other requirements even harder to meet.

BIR added in the statement: “Most recyclers have chosen to refrain from importing for the time being until the situation is clear. Some had goods arriving after 1 September 2020 and found that these goods were inspected, and managed to pass the laboratory test.

“The Chinese authorities give this matter a lot of exposure in public media to draw recyclers’ attention to this latest strict enforcement of rules.

“The global recycling industry is concerned about the new developments and is expecting new trade barriers for shipping recycled materials to the Far East.”

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