What is China’s ‘National Sword Policy’?
China is the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials.
Last year, in efforts to improve environmental and health conditions, China announced that from early this year, they would no longer accept unsorted, dirty or contaminated plastic, mixed paper and cardboard. The new policy imposes much tighter contamination thresholds on these recyclable streams.
How will it impact the Shire?
At present, it is business as usual.
This issue is not unique to Victoria. All Australian jurisdictions, and many other countries have a heavy reliance on the China export market.
We’re working with the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) and our contractors to fully understand the impact of this new policy. Our contractors have been developing high quality sorting facilities which will ease China’s new import standards.
Do I keep recycling?
YES, we still need to recycle. Recycling reduces the amount of natural resources and energy required to make new products. To ensure that we maximise our recycling:
- Rinse/empty out all containers and bottles
- Only place recyclables in your recycling bin
- No Plastic Bags - Place only loose items in your recycling bin
- FREE disposal of excess recycling is available at our Resource Recovery Centres (Rye, Mornington and Tyabb) or hoppers (Sorrento, Dromana and Flinders).
The Shire is committed to best waste management practices- reducing the amount of waste generated, increase recovery of recyclable materials, and reduction in contamination. China’s restrictions provide an opportunity for Victorians to review our waste practices and look for opportunities to transition to a cleaner economy.
Alternative Resource Recovery Technologies may provide a solution to low value and/or non-recyclable materials. The Shire is working with the MWRRG to drive best practice in waste management.