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May 9, 2019

India bans plastic scrap imports

In a step toward “fighting against plastic waste,” the government of India has announced that it will completely ban plastic scrap imports, which have been allowed only through Special Economic Zones. Since making the announcement in early March, the Indian government has said it will delay implementation until the end of August, giving its plastics recycling sector time to adapt.

India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MOEFCC) announced the ban via its Twitter account March 6. According to the ministry’s Twitter feed, India’s Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, were amended March 1 to prohibit the materials from entering the country’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Oriented Units (EOUs), where they previously had been permitted.

Aluminum scrap imports plunge in China

Figures released by China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) show a 33.4 percent drop in aluminum scrap imports by volume in the first two months of 2019.

According to an online article by Shanghai Metals Market (SMM), the 206,000 metric tons of aluminum scrap imported into China in the first two months of 2019 was some 103,000 metric tons, or 33.4 percent, less compared with the volume brought in during the first two months of 2018.

At the same time China was accepting less scrap, its exports of unwrought aluminum alloys rose by more than 21 percent in the first two months of 2019. SMM cites GACC data indicating a 15,300-metric-ton rise in alloy exports in January and February 2019 compared with the same months in the prior year.

One of China’s largest aluminum producers does not seem phased by the recent statistics. According to a Reuters report, Hong Kong-based China Zhongwang Holdings will invest more than $3 billion in a new plant in China’s Henan province that will be able to produce 1 million metric tons of aluminum extrusions.