National News

Outlines of Plastic Waste Debate Emerge in Congress as Lawmakers Step Up Focus

9 Sep 2019

While it’s still early stages, some lawmakers are floating ideas like producer responsibility bills for packaging and European Union-style restrictions on some single-use plastics. But other legislators seem to be steering toward proposals that focus on more traditional goals, like building out government-financed curbside recycling infrastructure.

NERC releases report on updated domestic paper recycling capacity

3 Sep 2019

The list includes new paper mills along with existing mills that are closed or are still operating but are being converted to produce different end products (e.g. from newsprint to packaging).

It also includes two mill that will be using recycled feedstock other than OCC and RMP. One is a facilty desigined to produce paper pulp and plastic pellets using beverage cartons and aseptic packages as its primary feedstock. The other is a mill designed to use food contaminated paper from commercial sources. 

The mills are listed in rough order of their projected opening.

NWRA responds to proposed EPR legislation

28 Aug 2019

The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) sent a letter to Udall and Lowenthal in response to the legislation by the Aug. 21 deadline. According to NWRA, the association believes the proposals outlined by Udall and Lowenthal will lead to more contamination and that Congress should focus on policy initiatives that would expand the domestic recycling market.

“There are better ways to address the issue of reducing plastic waste pollution than by product stewardship or extended producer responsibility financing schemes,” says Darrell Smith, president and CEO of NWRA.

China to increase tariffs on US OCC and other materials

27 Aug 2019

U.S. exporters who are still moving OCC and other recyclables to China may face higher costs, after the Chinese government last week announced additional tariffs on key scrap materials.

OCC, newsprint and some higher-grade recovered fibers will face an additional 5% tariff when imported into China, according to an announcement from the Chinese government. The list also includes scrap aluminum.

Companies plan investments in US recycled paper mills

13 Aug 2019

The past week brought several significant recycled paper capacity announcements, indicating future domestic outlets for mixed paper and OCC.

  • Shipping pulp from Kentucky to China: A Chinese company that purchased a U.S. paper mill will install a 700,000-tons-per-year recycled pulp and paper operation, taking in mixed paper and OCC and shipping the output to China for packaging production.

Scrap plastic exports plummet 43% this year, paper stable

7 Aug 2019

The latest figures indicate that the plastics recycling disruption is ongoing, and there are many indications the export situation will only experience more uncertainty. For instance, this decrease comes before the impact of the Basel Convention changes in scrap plastic shipping rules. And additional countries are publicly denouncing scrap plastic imports and calling for regulatory reform.

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