Reuters, Bangalore, November 24-An industry official said on Wednesday that China, Malaysia and other countries' restrictions on scrap metal imports provide Indian recyclers with a golden opportunity.
Since 2017, the global waste and waste treatment industry has been in a state of disruption, when China, the largest waste importer at the time, announced a ban on most plastic, metal and paper waste imports as part of pollution remediation.
Malaysia subsequently became the world's preferred destination for metal scrap and plastic scrap, but it has also recently raised the purity threshold of scrap imports, which shocked global metal recyclers.
Dhawal Shah, senior vice president of the Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI), said that for the recycling industry in India, the Malaysian ban represents a "golden opportunity" to win new business and establish its global leadership in the waste management field.
"We are very frugal here. Anything with a certain value will be extracted and recycled," said Shah, who is also the head of the non-ferrous metals department of the International Recycling Bureau.
The scrap import restrictions imposed by China and Malaysia are designed to prevent these countries from becoming the dumping ground for the world's waste.
Shah said that as long as government regulations are well thought out and clear policies are formulated to ensure that waste is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, India's recycling industry can benefit from their decline.
"It is unfair to dump other people's trash in any other country," he said. However, he added that there is a lot of "reliable flow of goods, value added that needs to be done, which can actually help our economy".
He said that supervision should not be too strict. "The most dynamic circular economy is when you have complex materials that can be handled in the right way."
Shah said that India is already a major metal recycling country, with about 50% of its steel and an average of 40% of all non-ferrous metals. Almost all stainless steel production comes from second-hand resources. About 60% of scrap supply comes from overseas.
Shah said that as consumption in India grows in the next 10 to 15 years, recycling and recycling rates are also expected to grow, especially for aluminum.
Shah said that the expected growth in India's renewable energy production is mainly from solar energy. With the replacement of photovoltaic panels, a large amount of recyclable materials will also be provided.
He said that the country's 1.4 billion people provide a huge labor force for the industry.
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