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A branch of the European Union wants to end all exports of recovered plastics within the next four years, a move that would undoubtedly disrupt trade with the U.S. One company leader suggested the impacts could hinge on what the EU decides to consider “waste.”
The European Parliament on Jan. 17 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a plan to update the EU’s Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) by eventually ending all plastic waste exports from the continent. The proposal would also impose new requirements on any non-plastic scrap material exported from the EU for recycling.
Several industry groups have sounded the alarm, saying such a move would restrict the free trade of commodities moving to legitimate recycling markets.