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The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), Arlington, Virginia, recently filed comments with the Standardization Administration of China in response to the notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it would modify the standards for imported recyclable materials by March 1, 2018.

“NWRA supports high-quality standards for recyclable materials and supports policies to achieve them. Our member companies’ processing facilities work to completely eliminate all materials that do not meet those specifications. We support the use of existing, internationally recognized specifications. The global recycling industry will face significant challenges should these [Chinese restrictions] move forward as written,” NWRA CEO and President Darrell Smith says.

NWRA further commented that modifications to the standards would lead to a decline in recycling rates globally as well as an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The association says that any pullback in these programs will result in an increase in raw material use and a significant increase in GHG worldwide emissions.