Visy withdraws some recycling services due to Chinese import ban

Melbourne based packaging and paper processing company, Visy, has announced it will suspend some of its kerbside recycling contracts in Victoria as a result of an import ban by China on plastic and paper waste import.

Before the ban was imposed, China imported seven million metric tons of waste plastic and 29 million metric tons of waste paper annually. Australia was sending around 30 per cent of its recyclable plastic and paper waste to China.

Visy, which processes 91,000 tonnes of plastic and 1.8m tonnes of paper and cardboard annually, warned a parliamentary inquiry into recycling last year that existing arrangements would not be sustainable.

The company has warned at least two council contractors that it will stop accepting recyclable materials from February 9. One of the contractors, Wheelie Waste, services 11 councils in Victoria’s west including Greater Shepparton, Macedon Ranges, Horsham and Ararat.

Horsham Rural City Council is currently looking for somewhere to stockpile the material, while Macedon Shire Council will be asking residents to minimise their purchase of products in recyclable containers such as plastic bottles.

The Senate Inquiry into the waste and recycling industry in Australia is due to report on 13 June 2018.

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