What you need to know about shipping recyclable waste

16 October 2018

Exporting recyclable waste goods, specifically plastic and paper, is an increasingly pertinent issue in the current shipping climate.

At Allseas Global, we have our own division which is responsible for ensuring all recyclable waste goods are handled, managed and shipped correctly.

Heading up this division is Recyclables Business Development Manager Tony Verrillo. With more than 20 years of experience in this area of shipping, Tony has worked with a wide variety of clients and continues to maintain excellent relationships with key personnel in global recyclable shipping.

Using Tony’s expertise, the following article is designed to shed more light on shipping recyclable waste goods – an area that many of our customers may wish to know more about.


The recyclable waste shipping situation in the UK

The current position of the UK means that those exporting recyclable waste goods are being forced to contend with more obstacles than ever before. Britain has depended on shipping plastic exports to China for many years – but this is all set to change following Beijing’s recent ban on importing plastics and mixed paper.

As a result, UK shippers are now being forced to send their recyclable waste to other nations in the South East, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. The country is caught between a rock and a hard place. This recycling needs to be moved…but has to be sent to a place that is actually willing to take it.

Some campaigners are striving to stop Brits producing and consuming single-use plastics, whilst others are asking for facilities to turn recyclable waste into new products instead of dumping it in landfill.

However, it will take time for green initiatives to gain a foothold. Until then, exporting recyclable waste from the UK is coming under close scrutiny, which is why it’s worth knowing what’s involved when moving these materials overseas.


What you need to know when shipping

First and foremost: Environmental agency, licence and paperwork approval from overseas are all required when shipping plastics.

Some recyclable waste is not approved to be sent out, whilst certain countries refuse to accept particular types of waste. Accredited documentation prevents these goods from leaving a country when they shouldn’t – as well as stopping prohibited plastics entering the region.

When you book using a freight forwarder, you’ll always have access to the latest laws on recyclables in each nation – which prevents your shipment being stopped or refused entry.

There are exceptions for some recyclables. For example, whilst China’s ban on imported plastics is certainly significant for the UK, it’s worth noting that not all plastics are banned from entering the country.

China will still accept some forms of plastic waste – including “clean” bottles and plastic pellets. Again, freight forwarders can help provide more information here.


Avoiding regulatory mistakes when shipping recyclable waste

One instance where you must take extra care when shipping recyclables is labelling the product by its correct name. If a product was falsely classified, it wouldn’t necessarily cause a problem until it reached its destination. But once it arrives, it may be refused into the country, shipped back, or destroyed – which can come at a big cost to the initial shipper.

Sending shipments under the wrong names can also lead to marks being made against a client. From that point forwards, everything they ship will be scrutinised considerably – which can ultimately lead to slower processing times.

Another big mistake people make is choosing cheap, unproven shippers to move goods from A to B. Not only do these companies skimp on things like paperwork and compliance, they may also be dealing with third parties. With established, reputable shipping businesses, you don’t risk breaking the rules and incurring costs for shipping waste incorrectly. The system is very stringent, so it’s a huge error in judgement to attempt to get around it. You will get caught either here, or over at the other end.

And lastly, before booking, it’s also worth asking your freight forwarder if they request permit numbers and have a system in place to process this information. These digits can reveal whether licenses have been issued or not – so can prove invaluable. All plastic waste must have a license to come into a country. If a shipment doesn’t have a license, it won’t get anywhere.


Contact Allseas for more information on recyclable waste goods

Allseas have connections with leading freight transportation specialists who have been delivering dependable solutions for decades.

Finding a carrier that you can trust can be a difficult task alone, but when you use Allseas, you can rest assured you’ll be getting a dependable, trusted solution from a superior shipper.

If you’re looking to find out more about the rules and regulations surrounding the shipment of recyclable goods, get in touch with us. Our helpful team will be happy to answer any of your questions and explain the process of moving plastics and paper overseas in greater detail.


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