Industry News

India to end import of scrap plastic

A year after the introduction of China’s National Sword Policy, the Indian government have announced that it will ban the import of scrap plastic into the country, which industry believes will threaten to further disrupt the global recycling industry.

India’s environment minister issued the release, which laid out a handful of changes to the country’s hazardous waste rules, some of which cover scrap plastic movement.

“Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from import into the country and the ban closes exemptions to existing import restrictions. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) shared the information in an alert to members,” the environment minister’s report stated.

“India banned scrap plastic imports in 2016, but later that year the country opened up certain exceptions, allowing companies in designated economic development areas to legally import plastic.

“The rule announced appears to reverse those exceptions, specifying that the order bans imports including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU).”

The release doesn’t note a date of implementation and also doesn’t get into detail on resins that will be covered by the new regulation. However, the 2016 order, which is meant to be reversed, applies to most plastics under the 3915 tariff code, including PET, PE, PP, PS and more.

The recent order appears similar to regulations implemented by the Chinese government, whose import prohibitions went into effect at the start of 2018.

“The new Indian regulations are being enacted in order to strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country. The decision was made with respect for the principles of sustainable development and ensuring minimal impact on the environment,” the report stated.

The amendment also aims to boost the Make in India initiative by exempting silk waste exporters from requiring permission from the ministry. In addition, electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India don’t require permission from the ministry for import if found defective.