Why China Stopped Buying U.S. Recycling

In 2018, China banned the import of most of the world's recycling. Now, Chinese companies are investing in recycling facilities in the U.S.

Chinese paper companies are opening offices in the U.S. in an attempt to gather and export recycled pulp, instead of the raw recyclable materials. The trend comes after China implemented a series of new policies prohibiting the import of scrap recyclable materials in 2018 that is having huge repercussions on the global recycling market.

“It was an aphorism in the recycling industry that China had the most stringent environmental laws in place. They just didn’t enforce them. Well, that changed beginning in 2013, with a Customs Enforcement action called Operation Green Fence,” Dylan de Thomas, vice president of industry collaboration at the Recycling Partnership, told CNBC.

Laws regarding specific environmental regulations were passed in 2006 and 2010, and the country officially began a crackdown in February 2013. Recovered plastic shipments to China dropped about 99% from 2017 to 2018, according to Resource Recycling.

After a public awareness campaign and outcry from Chinese citizens — ignited in some cases by the documentary “Plastic China” — the country implemented a series of policies called Green Fence, National Sword and Blue Sky to stop curbside pickup from ending up in unmanageable quantities in China.

However, recyclable scrap materials were still being collected, so the industry started to adapt.

“Changes in Chinese policies have really focused energy and attention — and I’m also glad to say innovation — on the topic of recycling,” Peter Wright, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, told CNBC.

American companies, like Waste Management, have been investing in upgrading domestic sorting facilities. Chinese companies have been buying up old paper mills in the U.S. to produce enough scrap material to support China’s manufacturing output.

Paper giant ND Paper, owned by Chinese corporation Nine Dragons Paper, recently opened mills in Maine, Wisconsin and West Virginia. While their operations combine virgin and recycled goods, their Fairmont, West Virginia mill has the capacity for 240,000 tons of recycled pulp, according to ND Paper.

Watch the video to find out how the recycling industry is adapting to massive changes in Chinese policy.

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Why China Stopped Buying U.S. Recycling

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Every contries buy mask or stuff produce garbage and can affect the consistency with contract ti pick up your recycle include in your contract.

They have now landed in Kenya...

They forgot to mention the world is going paperless and also working towards no single use plastic for a safer world for our future generations.

India is your ally , send all trash there .

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I’m not surprised i’ll use to found glass in bales of paper, plenty of plastic in it.

All this companies are lying we need to do it in the us plastic cardboard are easy all are sold out to comunist conteys

Humans sorting this by hand on an conveyor belt ridiculous

China isn’t taking anymore crap from the US

How to get rid of Garbage:
Step1: Teach poor countries about recycling, how it is good for their environment and how they can make money from it.
Step2: Sell or even GIVE them the equipment for recycling and guide them how to use it.
Step3: Start dumping garbage on their shore.
Step4: If said poor country wised up and refuses your garbage:
Rinse repeat. There is always a dumb country who will believe the lie.

Thank you very much, sir. I needed the information. 1x

Recycling is a scam, all we're doing is sending our trash to poor countries.

well done china..

idk maybe buying recyclable scrap is more valuable than expensive but useless American products? and now seems like making new one is more cost-efficient~

Wow, they do not have enough forests, so they are exporting ours in the form of pulp! That has to be a motivator for reducing & recycling. Let's pass a law similar to SB1016 in California that measures Garbage per Capita. Measuring the recyclables as a way of measuring diversion is old-school, it does not include reduce and reuse practices. Garbage per capita or in other words garbage per person per day or total tons of garbage multiplied by 2000 ( # of lbs. In one ton), then take this big number and divide it by the population of your city, this final number is divided by 365 & you get the number of pounds of garbage thrown into the landfill per person per day. LOWEST NUMBER WINS!! The average for the United States is 4.5 lbs. Per person per day. What is your city? I would love to know. Shout out to Frisco, Texas at 3.83 lbs Per person per day!! Environmentalbenchmarking.com

Indian hindus has better way of recycling pee , they go to railway lines ,and in 3 days it recycles automatically 😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝😝

PROCESS your own waste and stop smearing china

China save us from this racist country. 👍

We send them dirty plastics and China sends us COVID19?

Wait recycle companies owned by China? Why cant Usa try to do it their self?

Recycling is going to stop in the United States unless the US government subsidies recycling companies. When China stop purchasing recyclable goods, the price of recyclable goods drop to 0. Therefore, there is no way for a recycling company to recover money from it.

Wasnt it the US who keep telling china to be greener? Either way I guess this one for the better.

They don't show this on the mainstream media cuz all they wanna do is hate and deny

A subsidairy? Don't record videos if you don't have a command of the English language.

China is so backwards

Wow China was build by trash that now it has become powerful. wtf mind blowing

Recycling is good, but being mean to people is not!
You can recycle without being mean!

Telegraph 2018 Millions of tons of waste plastic from British businesses and homes may be ending up in landfill sites across the world, the government’s spending watchdog has warned.

Huge amounts of packaging waste is being sent overseas on the basis that it will be recycled and turned into new products. However, concerns have been raised that in reality much of it is being dumped in sites from Turkey to Malaysia.

Do u guys in the US habe different trash Bins?

We need more M.R.F's in the U.S.

The US should deal with their own trash.

Well no crap, I wouldn’t want to buy someone’s trash..

the US outsourced its trash and pollution to other countries while chest thumping itself as the "clean" country.

Apparently we are unable to recycle the plastic and glass into building materials in the USA 🤔🙈

Great innovation.

Why wouldn't America just recycle the stuff here?

the double speak is too much... you're outsourcing your garbage!

It's in the tone, see how she imitates the great leader's pronunciation of Chaina!

Well, we have been complaining that their land is polluted.

And even viruses smarten up...

I never recycled since I I remmember it began in the early 90s

This was quite the smart move from China! They stopped polluted stuff from being sent to their country, then set up companies in US to clean the materials at the source (making $$$ while also creating local jobs), then shipping the cleaned materials to China to fuel their production of recycled goods.

Of course, recycling should be the last option: reducing the production of single-use materials and reusing/repairing as much as possible should be higher priority. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (in that order). Remember, planeteers? ☺️

lol, recycling does not exist in the US, this has been exposed already by China. US just sorts and exports its trash for other countries to deal with

We in the US need to recycle our own stuff and stop exporting it out thinking they will do it for us. But then you have China coming here and building companies and making their own foothold and does anyone understand they will be dominating the market when they do, meaning we won't be able to recycle without them making us more relying on China.

Every country should deal with they own trash.

So it is a win-win. China stopped buying garbage and started investing in the American recycling industry resulting in more jobs in America.


Nine Dragon Paper company out of China has opened 3 paper plants in Maine, Wisconsin and West Virginia employing roughly 1500? And they opened a big ass Recycling company? Because China lacks the forestry area to support their paper needs. Wow cool!

I have an issue with the editing here. Contamination is mentioned but the stock video of the blue bin is seen with plastic utensils and paper cups, which are not accepted in the majority of curbside recycling programs. This imagery portrays these items as okay but they are Contamination.

They just recycle rats and bats as food

China is closed for business...mfg is almost completely stopped....how bout that as a reason? Covid-19 has something to do with it too...China has also stopped "growing" ...its not "green" that they care about...

Why can we not recycle our rubbish not ourselves without the Chinese?

Oldest corporate trick in the book: create a whole lot of unnecessary trash you don't clean up by yourself, then wait until someone gets covered up with your trash, then only offer to clean it up if you get paid. Title: More Stupid American History. Chapter-2020. Paragraph, 2016 thru...

How in the hell the richiest country in the world cant handle its own trash?

this is solution of plastic scrap recycling but it is the value after recycled

China agreed to buy recyclables from US as one of the concessions it made when it joined the WTO.

China gonna straight fix our recycling problem and make huge profits, like but can you be mad at them if they actually processing the material tho

Americans sent recyclable materials to China, like plastic soda bottles, and they turned it into patio lawn furniture, Toys, and other sellable things, and we bought it! We bought our own trash back! Our wages are high and the toys would be too expensive if we made it in the U.S.

I truely appreciate every person willing to protect our planet! This is a long journey for human beings.

Soon the US will ban this Chinese own recycling factory in US because of National Security by saying Chinese plant spy garbage to spy on US and stealing technology .

That's what happens when the Americans and other "developed economy" citizens think the recycling bin is for cardboard, aluminum can, fish bones and keeping the bin lid opened when it rains.

Let’s look 👀 at the big picture. , China 🇨🇳 Is getting paid for recycling, the United States 🇺🇸 is getting paid for recycling, why isn’t. The
Average American getting paid for Plastics, ?

when Americans laugh at China's pollution...

Did you mean
Why the U.S. WAS sending recycling to China?

"recyclables" end up in landfills... its all a big scam.

You mean US' waste?

O, so thats how The Virus were send to China!!!!

It takes more energy to recycle than to produce new material.

Recycling is a hoax that ignorant people believe so that they feel better about themselves.

China plays the long game, and will likely win control of the world because of that.

"Recycling" is largely a feel-good solution used to engineer people into continuing to be gluttonous consumers.

Americans don't care about the environment or anything, it's all BS, the lies of recycling they tell themselves.

I think china stop taking "recycling" from the USA is because half of the recycling are actually garbage.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the household to separate the garbage? That’s what we do where I live, the city gives us a booklet explaining everything.

Make industry responsible for recycling of every one of their products now.

America needs to take responsibility for our own recycling.

I think we have to stop trading with China and keep the recycled goods here and manufacture the goods we need here with recycled material. Our whole supply chain starts in China, and I think that is plain stupid. I get why they do it though, to avoid environmental regulations. What happens when China starts to pay more attention to their own environment and pollution in their cities caused by manufacturing.

So china stopped being dumping ground. period.

Instead of letting China coming here and build recycling facilities  and taking credit for 3000 jobs we should create are own recycling facilities.Then create are own plastic goods and trade with anybody but China.
 The people who work for China in our country say they treat them like they are disposables, and they only hire though temp service  that way they can work them 10 to 12 hrs a day plus not responsible
  for insurance  and get away with low pay.  If you didn't catch it, China would prefer to recycle here and contaminate
 our landfills.  Then they can  bring containers from all over the world. "Which many will say" it only makes since this is where they built their recycle centers. Another plus for China is thats more of the U.S. they own.
  Look out America China is about to fill our land fills with the worlds garbage.
  Wouldn't it better if we created a 4 section square trash container made from recycled plastic in the U.S.A.
1 section for glass 1 for metal 1 for plastic 1 for paper 1 for lazy people who dont want to take a few seconds and rinse the food out. Think of the tax dollars we could collect, by hiring people on government aid.
  The job market would be huge,
 recycling centers, plastic outlets, paper mills, steel mills.
   I would help the environment if we switched back to returnable glass soda bottles  or returnable plastic bottles with a nickel deposit as an incentive to bring them back to the store to save on your next purchase of bottled beverages.
  Make recycling a law, the incentive would be free pickup.
  We really need to put our people to work, manufacturing our own goods.The crime wave would go down, people would be at work  instead of sitting at home getting into trouble, there would be so many jobs ,
there would be no excuse to be on government aid. With all the new taxpayers we could take better care of our disabled vets and our retired senior citizens . Provide universal rideshare and childcare
 for single moms and even addicts would be able to find something they could do.
 The government agencies might have to toughen up with those who are healthy enough but don't want to work. We don't need socialism ,we have a form of socialism now and its destroying our country. More and more people prefer to live on aid than work I understand why. They get better housing more to spend on food and extras like cable tv
 I understand that , if they work they have to have a car and that takes
 a big part of their pay, car payments / license plates every year. License plates is crazy high, then auto insurance,  gasoline to get to work. Gas to go back and forth to daycare the grocery store. The cost of childcare is to high
Watching my grand kids working and paying childcare plus groceries,
 heating bill plus electric bill rent prices are outrageous  650 for a place thats not the best. Try living on 12 dollars an hr.
 A couple of my grandbabies make 15 hr and say thats good money. All work , all  say it takes 2, They Probably could qualify for government housing .They isnt safe for working people. get robbed and mugged they know you gotta
 job, break in while you are at work. Ive had friends move in and move back out.
 We really need to close our boarders for a healthy America

Tax trash, people have to start paying to throw trash away! Watch waste generated plummet.

China has done more then Donald trump for America.

I love how, the moment buying off politicians to shape policy isn't an option....
...the suits just comply.

Wait, are they saying that the public turning against plastic has destroyed the recycling industry?

They didn't want your trash anymore

There needs to be more focus on the overuse of non-functional product packaging. Styrofoam & any non-recyclable packaging should be completely eliminated.

8:31 do you really blame anyone for not wanting our trash?

Recyclliers are hiring ,all you out of work coal miners👍🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😁

not recycling, it is TRASH!!

China don't like contamination? LOL yeah then why would they contaminate the WORLD with their Wuhan coronavirus and pollute the air with toxic particulate matter from thousands of their fossil fuel power stations and factories? As a citizen living in Seoul, there are days I can't even go out because of all the pollutants coming from China.

This whole thing is playing out well for everybody it seems.


I guess we’re not going to get into the fact that it was a soft power, political play more than anything, right?

Everything China produces is trash which is exported to the US and EU. Made in China = garbage.

China is just a boogie man. America should look at investing in itself instead of elsewhere and how it will help it's people not the coporations.

A lot of money is being made in recycling! That is why I object to supplying their raw materials for free. People should be paid for their recyclable waste!

One way to reduce the contamination is to get apartment complexes to provide each current and new resident with a local "how-to" flyer on recycling provided by the waste/recycling company. People move and take their recycling habits from their previous cities to their new ones. Have the info available in foreign languages via web site.

Why don't America recycle their own garbage?

EPA hosts America's first recycling forum in 2018! An example of how useless many branches of the American bureaucracy are. The EPA formed in the 1970's took over 40 years to initiate a collaborative process for reducing domestic pollution.

TO get rid of garbage:
1. Preach recycling: it is good for the environment and how one can make money.
2. Introduce recycling to a poor country and set them up with recycling facilities.
3. Start sending your garbage to them.
4. Once they wised up, there is always another poor country.
"HELLO MALAYSIA! Let me teach you about recycling."
rinse repeat!

it kinda Ironic that china invest back to us in the form of money to make a better recycling facility.

China is basically a large garbage land?

US are trash. all trash throw to some asian country include my country.

the lady on the 9:19 doesn't not work there lol