ISRI: China targets scrap commodities in latest tariff announcement

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has issued an alert notifying its members that the Chinese government intends to add tariffs on $75 billion in goods from the U.S. beginning Dec. 15.

ISRI says the move is in “apparent retaliation for the U.S. administration’s announcement of tariffs on Chinese products to begin in September and December.”

These tariffs are in addition to those the Chinese government enacted in 2018.

ISRI says the following scrap commodities will be assessed an additional 5 percent tariff beginning Dec. 15, bringing the total import tariff to 30 percent:

  • Harmonized Tariff Code 4707.10.00, unbleached kraft paper or paperboard or corrugated paper or paperboard (such as those with the ISRI specifications 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; and specialty grades 8-S and 11-S);
  • Harmonized Tariff Code 4707.30.10, paper or paperboard made mainly of mechanical pulp (for example, newspapers, journals and similar printed matter), newspaper and other (such as ISRI specification grades 9, 10, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 44, 56, 58 and specialty grades 25-S, 32-S, 33-S, 36-S);
  • Harmonized Tariff Code 4707.90.00, other, including unsorted waste and scrap falling under the ISRI specifications of 52, 54 and specialty grades 1-S through 7-S, 10-S, 12-S, 14-S through 20-S, 22-S, 31-S, 34-S;
  • Harmonized Tariff Code 7404.00.00, copper waste and scrap;
  • Harmonized Tariff Code 7602.00.00, aluminum waste and scrap; and
  • Harmonized Tariff Code 7001.00.00, cullet and other waste and scrap of glass.

ISRI adds, “It is our understanding that unsorted mixed paper is banned for import into China, but in instances where materials under this Harmonized Tariff Code are still obtaining clearance, the tariff would apply.”

ISRI says unwrought cadmium waste and scrap under Harmonized Tariff Code 8107.30.00 will be assessed an additional 10 percent tariff as of Dec. 15, bringing the total import tariff to 35 percent.

California recycling legislation fails to advance in 2019

California lawmakers ended their 2019 legislative session Sept. 14 without passing several bills that were designed to reduce plastic pollution, according to The Mercury News, San Jose, California.

Senate Bill (SB) 54 and Assembly Bill (AB) 1080 each cleared one house but not both chambers as required, The Mercury News reports.

These companion bills would have required companies that sell products widely found in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants to reduce plastic pollution 75 percent by 2030. Also, the bills would have required single-use packaging and food products to be made of recyclable or compostable materials by 2030.

The Washington-based American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) says it thinks these two bills need some work before becoming law.

“The American Forest & Paper Association is pleased SB 54 and AB 1080 will not advance out of California’s 2019 legislative session,” says Terry Webber, executive director of packaging at the AF&PA. “While we agreed with the goals of the legislation to support recycling and reduce waste, it is not ready to become law. These bills would have created an unrealistic regulatory framework for an implementing agency already facing challenges fixing troubled recycling programs.

“The legislation was advertised to the public as a means to address the pressing problems of plastic waste,” Webber continues. “Paper, with a recovery rate of 68.1 percent in 2018, should not be regulated as if it were plastic, which has a much lower recovery rate. Furthermore, extended producer responsibility is a command-and-control approach more appropriate for addressing hard-to-handle or hazardous materials and should not be applied to products like paper that provide a sustainable and highly recycled packaging option.

“We look forward to working with legislators next year to get this legislation right,” Webber adds.

However, lawmakers did send AB 792, a third plastics bill, to the governor for signature.

The Mercury News reports that AB 792 requires plastic beverage containers that are sold in California to contain 10 percent recycled content by 2021, 25 percent recycled content by 2025 and 50 percent recycled content by 2030.