ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--China’s Green Fence policy has led to a premium for higher quality bottle bales in the United States, a consultant said on Wednesday.
Patty Moore, CEO of Moore Recycling Associates, a consulting firm, said that China’s decision to reduce the amount of dirty scrap material from the US has led to a premium of 3 to 4 cents on better material.
Moore was a speaker at the 2014 Plastics Recycling Conference, which concluded on Wednesday. More than 1,600 people from 40 states and 30 countries attended the conference.
One of the leading topics at the conference was China’s “Green Fence” policy. The policy, enacted in 2013, restricted the amount of recycled material that country imported from the US due to higher processing costs and environmental concerns.
The policy has broadly affected the US recycling market, as the sector has to adjust to exporting less material to China.
Moore said there have been some positive effects of the policy.
“The market is now valuing quality, because the quality is getting a higher yield,” Moore said. “US reclaimers have impetus to fight back to get better qualities of bail material,” Moore explained. The sorting process has improved because it had to. So now you have better quality material that’s in demand. But, there’s still not a ton of it. So we’ve seen that higher quality bales can get up 3, maybe 4 cents higher than lower quality [material].”
Current ICIS-assessed prices for PET bottle bales on the west coast are a range of 27-30 cents/lb (595-661/tonne). Prices on the east coast are a range of 16-19 cents/lb.