Date
26 February 2020
China has set a target of reducing solid waste imports to zero by the end of 2020 but scrap metal meeting the new standards will be classed as a resource rather than waste. Photo: Bloomberg
China has set a target of reducing solid waste imports to zero by the end of 2020 but scrap metal meeting the new standards will be classed as a resource rather than waste. Photo: Bloomberg

China unveils new standards for copper and aluminum scrap

China’s market regulator published new standards for high-grade copper scrap and aluminum scrap metal on Sunday, shedding some light on what material will be allowed into the country from the second half of this year, Reuters reports.

Details of the new standards, which take effect on July 1, have been highly anticipated by metals traders eager to know if they will still be able to ship their scrap into China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, as it bolsters its environmental crackdown on imports of solid waste.

Beijing has set a target of reducing solid waste imports to zero by the end of 2020 but scrap metal meeting the new standards, published by the State Administration for Market Regulation, will be classed as a resource rather than waste.

The new standards set minimum copper contents ranging from 99.9% for types of scrap including bare bright copper wire, commonly known as “barley” under Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) specifications, down to 94% for No. 3 copper scrap nodules.

In the case of aluminum scrap materials, the minimum aluminum and aluminum alloy content was set at 100% for recycled aluminum ingots, 98% for aluminum castings and 91% for aluminum blocks.

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