California recyclers are struggling to figure out what to do with their scraps.
This comes as China, their once-largest customer, placed a ban on nearly 25 types of imported waste at the beginning of the year.
And now, amid the growing U.S.-China trade battle, the country is imposing a tariff on recyclables.
But not all recyclables are affected.
Sally Houghton is with the Plastic Recycling Corporation of California, a nonprofit plastics broker. She says over the last several years, California has provided monetary incentives for recyclers of PET — a type of plastic — to process it in state rather than shipping to China.
“We’re quite lucky here is California with the PET market that, over the last few years, has really developed,” Houghton said. “So, we’re not dependent so much on that China trade at all.”
Houghton said there’s an opportunity in the United States to become less dependent on China and expand recycling efforts in the state.
“There is the idea that processing materials closer to home is the way to go and I think that will happen,” Houghton said.
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