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ISRI discusses what National Sword 2017 and China's Waste Ban means for the future of the waste industry

Recently confirmed for this year’s program is Mark Reiter, Vice President of Government Relations at ISRI, who will be speaking on National Sword 2017, China's Waste Ban and the confusion between the two.

When  talking to Mark, he gave us a little bit of background on how National Sword and China's Waste Ban came to be, and what it means for the future of waste.


The Ban is not Green Fence (which applies to a crackdown on electronics). And, It is not National Sword, which is meant to crack down on illegal trade of both scrap and worthless trash. The Ban is part of President X’s effort to clean up China’s environment. China has issued its first regulations as part of the Ban that became effective on January 1, 2018. Those address mixed paper and plastics. Further regulations, regarding nonferrous metal are expected in mid-2018.

The Ban poses significant problems for those who export materials of interest to China. Meeting the requirements of China’s recently released regulations will be difficult to meet. That is because China’s new requirement is what it calls “carried waste” – or, as we might say, “contaminants along for the ride” cannot be more than 0.5%. Scrap processors do not believe that, with current technology, 0.5% is achievable.

On behalf of its members, ISRI has been very active trying to respond to the China Ban. It has been working with both the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Federal Government and otherwise gather intelligence and seeking assistance as we respond to China. We are also working wherever we can with the Chinese government. We support President Xi’s goal of a clean environment. We have expressed to Chinese officials that our assistance is available whether it is requested for background information, specifications, a recycling collection system, or any other matter. We have been to Beijing a number of times and we will again if our assistance would be useful.  

Register Today and hear from Mark at Sustainability in Packaging US 2018