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US plastic scrap exports down 40% on China ban

HOUSTON, April 18, 2018 (PCW) -- US exports of plastic scrap are down 40% this year through Feb from a year ago due largely to a sharp drop in volumes to China and Hong Kong, a result of the country's Operation Sword scrap and rubbish ban.

Plastic scrap exports for all categories totaled 201,200 mt in Jan-Feb 2018, down by 133,354 mt or 40% from Jan-Feb 2017, the latest US Commerce Department data show. This includes PE, PS, PVC, PET and unsorted "other" plastic scrap.

Exports were lower to China in all categories except PVC, where they were up sharply: 77,558 mt in Jan-Feb 2018 compared to 17,608 mt a year earlier.

In the other category -- which includes mixed plastic scrap that often must be washed and sorted before being recycled -- exports to China in Jan-Feb totaled 7,158 mt, down by 29,517 mt or 80% from Jan-Feb 2017. -- Xavier A Cronin

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