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China progresses with quality standards for mechanically recycled secondary raw materials

  • 07 October 2020
  • BIR | Legislation

As previously reported in BIR news, with the upcoming prohibition on imports of wastes into China and to fulfil future material needs of its industries, only the import of products will be allowed, amongst which high quality recycled materials. China has published GB/T Standards for aluminium, brass and copper recycled material as: GB/T38470-2019 - for brass; GB/T38471-2019 - for copper; GB/T38472-2019 - for aluminium alloys.

Furthermore, the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), the Chinese National Committee of the ISO and IEC, is drafting a series of GB/T Standards for "Plastics – Recycled Plastics" that will include PE, PP, mixed Polyolefins, ABS, PS, PC, PA, PET, PBT, PVC and PMMA.

Lastly, BIR has learnt that the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) is drafting GB/T Standards for iron and steel, i.e. iron and steel secondary raw materials that have been mechanically recycled.

These Chinese Standards set very high quality standards for secondary raw materials. They have the same ultimate purpose of distinguishing between unprocessed “waste and scrap” and “mechanically recycled” secondary raw materials as the European Regulations for: Iron and Steel, Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys (Council Regulation (EU) N°333/2011), Copper (Commission Regulation (EU) N° 715/2013 ) and Glass Cullet (Commission Regulation (EU) No 1179/2012.)

For these regulations and standards to be legitimized, it is important that the framework legislation in the United Nations Basel Convention, inter alia, explicitly recognises that recycling of organics, of metals and of other inorganic materials is through ‘mechanical recycling’, as well as other technologies and techniques.

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