Sep 21

Plastics Weekly: China’s Done With U.S. Trash

Editorial Staff
Jan 11, 2021

Welcome to NEO’s weekly news monitoring about the plastics industry.

Every Monday, we publish a roundup of the top developments in plastics and sustainability – from regulatory changes to company innovations.

This week’s highlights:

  • Under a new government that takes power this year, China will quit accepting U.S. trash for recycling, even as much of it already ended up on landfills in poorer provinces. As developing countries increasingly refuse to recycle trash from the West, the U.S. faces the challenge of building a better recycling system — and sustainability startups are stepping in to help. (Forbes)
  • The EU has adopted a tax on nonrecyclable plastic as an incentive for member-states to go green. But observers say the tax isn’t likely to boost recycling because member states are allowed to cover the costs out of pocket, and the tax also carries an ulterior motive: to help the EU cover a €750 billion ($900 billion) COVID-19 economic recovery package. (C&EN)
  • Large global banks have provided $1.7 trillion in financing to packaging companies, retailers and other businesses that contribute to the plastics pollution crisis, according to a report from The group says the 265 banks that provided loans from 2015-2019 — including Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan — failed to put in place due-diligence processes or make funding contingent on sustainable company practices. (Bloomberg)

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