Vanden Recycling has said that the UK plastics recycling sector has been warned about a ban on imports of plastics scrap into China, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it has come to pass.
China has filed a notification with the WTO that has shown that from the end of the year, it intends to ban the import of commodity code HS 3915 that applies to all scrap plastic materials.
Vanden Recycling managing director David Wilson (pictured) said: “There have been warnings from China that a ban on imports of all plastics scrap was on the agenda. But in the UK, we have been too slow to respond and this is going to cause chaos in meeting plastic recycling targets and will likely lead to even higher PRN/PERN prices for plastics as a key market is cut off.
“There had been rumours that China would allow the highest quality regrind to be imported, but this is not the case. Only first remelt quality material will now be allowed into the country.
“At Vanden, we are very confident in our end markets for the material we process at our new facility in Whittlesea near Peterborough because we service a diverse customer base covering the UK, Europe and Asia.
“For those that have put all their eggs in the basket that is China, they are going to have to revisit their business models or face the consequences. Our business model already allows us to be flexible and adaptable to the new reality.
“This is a warning to the UK recycling sector as a whole that we also need to ensure that we produce the highest quality product to ensure it has a market. China has cut off imports of scrap plastics because of pollution and environmental concerns, and we should not give other countries the opportunity to do the same by providing them with low grade scrap plastics.”