Press statement: Chinese recycling import restrictions

Press Release
Date: 9 January 2018

NAWDO is closely following the developments around the Chinese import restrictions on secondary materials. The exact impact of these restrictions is not known at present. We have not had reports from our members that materials are being stockpiled but remain alert for any changes around this. Whilst the Chinese market is an important destination of secondary materials, we note that there are also other export markets in addition to UK based outlets. We acknowledge that the markets for secondary resources can be volatile which might carry a risk for local authorities and/or waste management providers.

Whilst NAWDO encourages higher levels of environmental responsibility, for example by increasing the quantity and quality of recycling collected, we remain vigilant that these restrictions don’t negatively impact on our members. This issue could be an opportunity for a re-examination of the approach to plastics recycling, to stimulate local market demand and ensure material used in products and packaging is designed with recycling and recovery in mind. NAWDO very much welcomes the ongoing debate between government, waste management industry, partners and stakeholders ensuring continuity around service provision and mitigating possible operational and financial impacts.

NAWDO is fully committed to working in partnership with the waste management industry, stakeholders and policy makers to ensure value for money waste and recycling services continue to be provided to the residents and businesses in the local communities which NAWDO’s members serve.