May 9 - 'Green Fence' Highlights Need to Support Domestic Recycling Infrastructure

China’s recent crackdown on the import of waste and recycling materials from the U.S. (known as the Green Fence) highlights the need to continue strengthening and expanding domestic recycling infrastructure. Processing and manufacturing recyclable materials domestically creates jobs and helps the economy. It will also reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions since materials won’t be shipped overseas.

That’s why CAW is supporting AB 1021 (Eggman), which will provide financial assistance in the form of sales tax exemption on equipment purchases to businesses that process or utilized recycled feedstock. This will provide an important incentive to recycle and reintroduce more recyclable materials into California’s manufacturing economy.

An article in Plastics Recycling Update says plastics labeled 3-7 are being refused in China and sent back to the U.S.

"This is great news for American processors," says Scott Saunders, general manager for KW Plastics. "I don't buy the argument that MRFs [materials recovery facilities] have nowhere to sell material. There are lots of ready recyclers here in the U.S."

The sales tax exemption called for in AB 1021 would support existing California recyclers and manufacturers and provide incentives for new businesses. For instance, in the plastic sector, there are currently nine recyclers employing more than 700 workers that utilize in-state PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene) supply. California manufacturers that utilize the processed PET into new material such as containers, landscape products, packaging material, etc., would also qualify for the exemption, facilitating a closed-loop recycling system.

Find out more about the legislation CAW supports this session and how you can help us continue our work!