China targets recycling ahead of BIR’s momentous visit

For the first time ever, the BIR world recycling body is to hold one of its twice-yearly conventions in China. This is already being flagged as a landmark event in the development of China’s raw materials industries and policy-making bodies. This article examines not only recent changes in the direction of China’s recycling policies, but also focuses on the content - and possible timing - of new regulatory initiatives that will affect the global recycling community.

The international recycling community that travels to Beijing for the 2006 BIR Spring Convention will confront a very different regulatory and policy environment than the one that existed when the location for the event was first announced two years ago. Then, as now, markets were reaching historic highs driven by a recovering US economy in competition with China for resources. However, China was then only in the early stages of formulating its new Five Year Plan for the years 2005 to 2010, and few international market participants could have guessed that it would enshrine the development of a ‘recycling economy’ as a national priority.

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