In an emailed report to members headlined “Policy execution – industry in doldrums,” Dr. Steve Wong, executive president of the China Scrap Plastics Association, says end markets for plastic scrap in China are shrinking because of rigid inspection programs being carried out by Chinese government agencies.
Wong, who also is chairman of Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Co. Ltd. and sits on committees of the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), says a Central Task Force established by China’s President Xi Jinping “is putting into execution the corrective actions on all polluting industries, particularly recycling of solid [waste] and plastic [scrap], targeting the operations with imported [materials].”
He continues, “Being target-oriented, all factories holding import licenses for plastic [scrap] recycling have to go through a round of intense inspections by a high-caliber inspection team of 1,700 well-trained inspectors, teamed up from various parts of China.”
Wong says the teams expect to complete their work in July 2017, and, at the end of the month, “import permit reductions which could be up to 60 percent” could be in place, “according to market rumors.”
Among the aspects of direct interest to inspectors, says Wong, are:
1) compliance with pollution control and management; and
2) audits related to import permits and their potential illegal use.
Inspectors also will look into whether there is malfeasance on the part of local government departments, he says.
“It is expected that a number of recycling factories will hardly be able to meet the strict standards and may face the problem of import permit curtailments, or even [having permits] entirely rescinded,” says the plastic recycling executive. “Some factories chose to slow down their production to avoid excessive pollutants being discharged (and failure in inspection), while others could not maintain smooth production due to
Other plastic recycling and scrap consuming firms, he notes have had to “suspend production until the import of plastic scrap has resumed after new import permits are released.”
In addition to the July effort, Wong says China’s AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Wong concludes, “With the industry in the doldrums and with trading activities slowed down, the supply of and demand for [plastic scrap] has been upset.”