President of US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries calls China’s 0.3% contamination level “an effective ban” 


The president of the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Robin Wiener has called the Chinese’s decision of 0.3% contamination level “an effective ban” at the International Environment Committee meeting.  

According to the Bureau of International Recycling’s (BIR) International Environment Committee, who held the meeting the majority of the discussion involved how the Chinese import ban will affect secondary raw material.  


Robin Wiener explained at the meeting that the latest policy developments in China reflect a multi-pronged strategy published in July. 

She said that a proposed 0.3% contamination ceiling for carried waste is “an effective ban” because the recyclers she has spoken to on this topic believe that “no-one thinks they can meet that threshold.”  

The president said that the aims of the strategy include prohibiting imports of solid waste that involve “major environmental hazards and intense public reaction“, stopping imports that can be replaced by domestic resources, better customs enforcement, regulations and similar systems and increased recycling.   

From these goals, she continued in her belief that self-sufficiency in scrap is “an important driver” for China’s government. 

China’s impact on the USA has the potential to affect $6.5 billion of annual exports and 150,000 related jobs and as some US municipalities have stopped collecting certain papers and plastics in their kerbside collection, Ms Wiener has said it’s “a big force for us in raising this issue with the US government.” 

BIR’s director general Arnaud Brunet has looked at certain aspects that must be acknowledged when examining the policy developments in China, as well as calling on recycling associations to look out for “signals” of changes taking place in other countries.