China quality demand puts UK under pressure

Posted on 4th October, 2017

Recyclers of paper and plastics are continuing to watch the situation in China closely with regard to the country’s proposed tighter quality controls.

China has recently closed a consultation on a new standard for the export of materials to the country for recycling. In particular, the standards will impact on used cardboard, mixed papers (typically collected from a household) and also plastic films, often used to wrap goods for retailers and industry.

Some in the recycling sector are calling for the UK government to get involved but others consider that this will be difficult to do as the UK is just one of many countries impacted by the tighter controls.

Others in the sector feel that it is about time that the quality of material sent for export is improved and that the UK has been lax in its approach.

Prices for the materials involved reduced in September and further falls are on the cards. Currently the markets are in a nervous state although there are expectations that prices for some grades of material could actually rise as others fall. Domestic prices for cardboard in China are rising and pulp prices are also on the increase.