Unless the existing regulations are strictly adhered to, this scrap will all go to other countries now, due to their less stringent entry requirements. All plastic scrap mined from foreign landfills are considered garbage. As such, for importation to the US, the materials are required to be sterilized at 140 degrees F for 10-15 minutes to get rid of any potential organic contaminants and to prevent spreading of disease.
This regulation adds significant cost to the processing by Mexican suppliers and will result in their sending it to other countries instead. This regulation has been in place for several years, but now is being strictly enforced. It is estimated to be a 200M pounds reduction in supply to the US from this ban, having a serious impact on available plastic scrap for US plastics reprocessors (see our previous blog post http://envisionplastics.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/how-is-a-usda-ban-on-imported-landfill-mined-recycling-costing-american-jobs/).
In the spirit of full disclosure, Envision Plastics does not use landfill mined plastic scrap from Mexico. Our imported plastic scrap supply comes from approved recyclers who have adhered to all associated USDA regulations.
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Need more information? Envision Plastics Vice President, Tamsin Ettefagh will be happy to discuss your comments or concerns in greater depth. Contact her at 336/342-4749 Ext 225.