Recycled plastic is headed for China

Article image - Recycled plastic is headed for China Thirty-five tonnes of recycled plastic is headed for China.

A 35-tonne shipment of recycled plastics, destined for China, is another feather in the cap for the distinctive recycling program of Armidale, New South Wales.

A shipment of mixed plastics, which equates to two shipping containers, was dispatched in February by Armidale Recycling Services (ARS), which is contracted to process recycling materials from Armidale City Council’s kerbside collection service.

It is one of this region’s largest shipments of recyclables to China, even though that country has clamped down on the quality of recyclables it receives. When China announced it would no longer accept recyclable materials that exceeded a certain level of contamination, Armidale Regional Council confirmed its crate system for recycling was a key factor in enabling the region to stay within those contamination levels, while many other local governments struggled to find new markets for their recyclables.

Mayor, Simon Murray, said, “Armidale Recycling Services is continuing to sell our clean recycling products within Australia and to overseas markets, including China.”

Last month’s shipment comprised Category 2, 4, 5 and coloured Pet1 plastics.

ARS is on track to export other types of plastic – HDPE, clear Pet1 and clear plastic film - in the future.

“The combined efforts of Council, ARS and the community is capturing around 97 percent of waste for reuse, which is among the highest rates in Australia and a reason for pride for our residents.

“The crate system has been in place since 2006 and requires some additional input from each household to sort items but it is paying wonderful dividends.

“All of us share some responsibility to reuse resources where we can, to make best use of our resources and protect our environment.

“The comingling of materials within a single recycling bin, a system used in many parts of Australia, is contributing to an increase in materials going to landfill.”