China has been in the news lately because they decided not to recycle any more of the world’s garbage (I prefer to call it waste). This left many recycling programs with no place to send their recyclables.
I spoke with our contact person at Cascades Recovery, the company we ship recyclables to find out how this change would affect us.
I was told that Cascades does not ship to China.
The recycling industry knew the China decision was coming last spring already. Many cardboard mills in North America shut down for maintenance and/or upgrades as they saw this as an opportunity to process more cardboard.
As a result, cardboard wasn’t moving for a few months and prices fell. At the time of my conversation most of the mills had reopened so cardboard had begun moving again. We are hoping prices will improve.
The other material news reports mentioned that China is not taking is plastic. I found out this was the lower grade plastics, mostly film like plastic bags and mixed content plastic. We do not collect plastic bags for recycling so this will also not affect us.
Cascades ships plastic to North American mills. The only problem with that would be if the United States decided to impose tariffs on it.
A friend directed me to a very interesting CBC radio series called Wasted. The second episode mentioned that recycling does help the environment but it still takes from it because it requires energy.
The best thing to do is reduce the amount of things we use because everything we have comes from the earth.
Check out the series ‘Wasted’ at www.cbc.ca/daysix . Dates are January 5, 12 and 19.