Ferrous and stainless scrap import standards drafted in China

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A central government agency in the People’s Republic of China has reportedly issued a draft set of standards for grades of ferrous scrap that would be permitted to enter that nation in the near future.

An online article from Argus Media indicates China’s State Administration for Market Regulation has drafted a document listing acceptable imported grades and is seeking comments from companies in the steel and scrap recycling industries.

An English translation of that document, posted to the Argus website, defines 13 carbon steel (ferrous) scrap grades and two stainless steel scrap grades proposed for acceptance at Chinese ports.

Both stainless grades require sheared and baled material, with one specified for 10 percent or greater chromium content (known as RS-602). The other grade, known as RS-601, applies to austenitic stainless scrap with 6 percent or greater nickel content.

Of the more than a dozen ferrous grades, four are for shredded material, six are for cut grades and three for baled or bundled scrap.

The specified measurements for materials are metric, and many of the cut grade specifications, at 1.5 meters, are close to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) export specifications for heavy melting steel (HMS), which call for 1.524 meters as a maximum length. According to Argus, that is likely to be well received by exporters, who would rather not have adjusted to a one-meter maximum length specified in the Chinese domestic steel and scrap market.

Throughout 2020, as China’s government has issued scrap quotas, only modest amounts of ferrous scrap have been approved for entry, compared to aluminum, copper and recovered fiber quotas.

However, steelmaking and recycling associations in China have been working with the government to seek new standards to import both ferrous and stainless steel scrap in 2021, after the government’s strict deadline against “waste” imports.

Six more companies sign on to APR Recycling Demand Champions Campaign

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) Recycling Demand Champions Campaign has announced new commitments from six additional companies that are designed to strengthen domestic demand for residential mixed plastics. This initiative is designed to expand market demand for recycled resins, highlight the value of postconsumer resin (PCR) and improve plastic recycling in North America, according to the APR, which is based in Washington.

“Increasing postconsumer recycled content allows consumer brand companies to serve their consumers and uphold their public sustainability commitments,” Steve Alexander, APR president and CEO, says. “Particularly in this uncertain time, we commend these companies for doubling-down on their prepandemic commitments. Postconsumer recycled material is the key ingredient to circularity, and demand drives the recycling supply chain.”

Joining the campaign are Inteplast Engineered Films, ISOFlex Packaging, Kraft Heinz, Sealed Air, Silgan Closures and Silgan Plastics.

Ali Briggs-Ungerer, APR director of market development, says, “The program is really quite simple. In a nutshell, the APR Recycling Demand Champions Program celebrates companies who purchase more products that contain PCR and/or who incorporate more PCR into their products.

“We are pleased with the continued growth and expansion of this important campaign and look forward to working with these companies and others that recognize the true value of PCR,” she adds. 

The addition of these new companies brings the total number of 2020 APR Recycling Demand Champions to 53. Launched in October 2017 with 10 companies, the campaign has seen a 430 percent increase in participation since then, the APR says.

Although originally designed with the private sector in mind, the campaign has expanded. In partnership with the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), Brattleboro, Vermont, the APR created the Government Recycling Demand Champions Program earlier this year because government is the biggest purchaser of products in the United States. New participants in that program will be announced in the coming months, according to the association.

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