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Within a trade policy being considered by the European Parliament, recyclable materials have the potential to dominate the region’s cross-border trade. Many participants at the 2022 Paper and Plastic Recycling Conference Europe in Rotterdam in mid-November said the recycling industry needs to raise its voice to get the attention of policymakers.

Marc Ehrlich, CEO of Switzerland-based trade firm VIPA Lausanne, said the waste regulations being considered by the European Parliament’s environment committee would not ban the export of paper and plastic waste, but would make it more difficult to export.

As currently written, the new rule would require a country receiving paper recovered from Europe, such as India, to show it has a recycling system similar to Europe’s, Ehrlich said. “We don’t have any standards right now,” Ehrlich said, asking who conducts the assessments of overseas systems.

Ehrlich urged delegates to contact their representatives in the European Parliament, including the Environment Committee. “Tell them about your recycling system. [in Europe] You don’t know what you’re doing and it’s going to collapse,” he advised his colleagues to speak directly to elected officials. “It has to be done today. No one has done it before you.”

Ehrlich also said that the paper and metal sectors should be removed from such waste: “Exclude non-problem materials: recovered paper and metal.”

“I’m sorry, But plastic will not be well received. They only have plastics on their minds,” said Ehrlich, who is seeking an export ban.

Shailesh Gothal of Belgium-based Gemini Corporation says that as Europe has more plastic waste, it gives recyclers an opportunity to build capacity. With Europe’s current plastic recycling rate of 16 percent, “we have a lot of work to do,” Gothal said.

Shipping lines are leaving European ports as they look set to end massive shipments of plastic waste, with European ports reducing their allocations for plastic waste.

Robert Powell of United Kingdom-based Miro Logistics said global container berthing will ease in 2021 and the first half of 2022 as “overcrowding of container ports” is expected.

Rates charged by exporters have fallen from 50 percent to 70 percent, and “the market remains soft,” Powell said. He added that recyclers to the Far East could use shipping containers in “relatively unlimited” quantities, adding that container orders to India were “not a problem at the moment”.

Powell said that shippers of scrap plastic “are best if you have other goods.” To mitigate shipping line concerns about container abandonment, plastic exporters are advised to obtain an “onboard acceptance” from the destination shipping office.

Analysts, including Simon Ellin, a regulator at the UK-based Recycling Association, agreed that Europe’s trade directive, which threatens waste, has linked recyclers and traders to using the word “waste” attached to goods such as “waste”. Paper waste.” Powell says, “The word ‘waste’ is the wrong word. When we talk to shipping lines, we use the word ‘recyclable.’

The 2022 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe was held at the Hilton Rotterdam in the Netherlands from November 15th to 16th.


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