Indonesia Scrap Import New Rule allows up to 2% contamination

Indonesia Scrap Import New Rule

Image source: letsrecycle.com

The several-months-long uncertainty of Indonesia Scrap Import New Rule finally ends at limiting contamination to 2 percent.

Indonesia Scrap Import New Rule was under the focus of the country’s officials for a long time. In April 2019, they limited contamination for recovered fiber imports to 0.5%, with the declaration of more stringent inspection procedures’ enactment. However, the rule was suspended just after a week, noticing unfavorable reactions from recycling industry stakeholders, including the US.

The US export market modestly caters to the scrap demands of Indonesia. Within the initial four months of this year, the country has served Indonesia with 195,000 short tons of recovered paper (almost 4% of overall American fiber exports), and 11 million pounds of scrap plastic (nearly 3% of total American plastic exports).

Modification of Indonesia Scrap Import New Rule

  1. The Indonesian government officials suggested to raise contamination limit in accordance with the published quality specifications of ISRI, which allow 3% to 4% for outthrows (the ones which will need to be thrown out), and 1% to 2% for prohibitive materials (the ones which make a paper unusable).

Outthrows are the contaminants of the same material’s different grade, while prohibitive are of different material types.

  1. ISRI then visited the country, carried out discussions with officials, and reported a disagreement between several government agencies regarding scrap policies’ modifications.

However, the issue appeared settling down by August when an inspection agency’s guidance indicated implementation of ISRI’s specifications for outthrows, which allowed material-based percentage variations, and 0.5% limit for more severe contaminants. This development in Indonesia’s scrap import new rule came without official documentation.

  1. On May 27, the Indonesian government announced the official contamination policy for scrap imports. This final rulemaking permitted a maximum of 2% contamination in the plastic and paper shipments to the country.

ISRI praised the new contamination policy, calling it a win for the recycling industry. The policy was neither as aggressive as the first proposal nor as lenient as the subsequent ones. It was, in fact, adequate to reaffirm the essential value of scrap commodities, rather than just treating them like a solid waste.

According to the decree, in the future, the Indonesian government will plan to bolster the domestic recycling industry by reducing its reliance on imports.

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