The United States has asked China not to implement a ban on imports of scrap materials.
Last year, China had told the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it would stop accepting plastic and paper waste
On Friday, the US raised concerns about the ban, and a subsequent revision of standards for a variety of scrap metals at the WTO’s Council for Trade in Goods.
Reuters has reported that a trade official said: “China’s import restrictions on recycled commodities have caused a fundamental disruption in global supply chains for scrap materials, directing them away from productive reuse and toward disposal.”
The US representative told the meeting that China seemed to be breaching its WTO obligations by treating foreign waste differently and adopting a trade-restrictive policy.
According to Reuters, the European Union’s representative at the meeting said that China’s policy would potentially lead to scrap materials being redirected to third world countries, which may not have the correct recycling facilities, or to landfill, causing damage to the environment.
China’s representative agreed to take the opinions into account but said that every country has a responsibility to dispose of its waste.