China has confirmed it is to stop taking many types of recycling material by the end of the year, posing a major difficulty for Ireland and other EU countries.
The Chinese government recently notified the World Trade Organisation it intends to ban the import of “all scrap plastics and unsorted paper” by the end of the year. It is a response to the scale of recyclable waste that is often dirty, poorly sorted or contaminated.
Earlier this year Irish containers of paper enroute to China were intercepted in the Netherlands and found to be contaminated. The entire shipment was returned to Ireland, with estimated costs in terms of shipping, lost revenue, landfill charges and taxes in excess of €1 million.