The US-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has expressed disappointment that China has rejected calls to ease tougher contamination levels for imported secondary materials.
Despite heavy lobbying by ISRI and other industry bodies, China has told the World Trade Organization that it intends sticking to newer lower contamination thresholds proposed last year.
The final standards have remained the same, generally at 0.5%, although some had previously been revised from a previously suggested 0.3% level.
In response to refusal by China’s ministry of environmental protection to shift further, ISRI president Robin Wiener said: “We are very disappointed to see the Chinese Government finalising its environmental protection control standards, and failing to take the opportunity to bring them in line with global standards that reflect manufacturing requirements and are utilised by environmentally responsible recycling operations in the US and around the world.
“We continue to be supportive of the Chinese Government’s drive to improve the environment in China. But we continue to hope that such support can be realised through collaboration…without impairing trade of high quality, specification-grade scrap commodities required by China’s manufacturing sector.”
ISRI is still hoping that introduction of the new regime can be delayed.
The standards set are:
- Smelt slag 0.5%
- Wood 0.5%
- Ferrous metal 0.5%
- Non-ferrous metal 1.0%
- Electric motors 0.5%
- Wires and cables 0.5%
- Metal and appliances 0.5%
- Vessels 0.05%
- Plastic 0.5%
- Autos 0.3%
ISRI has said that it will continue to follow developments and proactively represent the industry with the US and Chinese governments and other stakeholders.