China's National "Green Fence" Campaign Paying Off for Its Papermakers

China's "Green Fence" policy, which tightened inspections of imported recycled materials, has significantly reduced the amount of contaminants found in bales of recovered paper entering the country from overseas.

Jan. 29, 2014 (Press Release) - It was December 15, 2013. Wang, a Customs officer was inspecting a consignment of imported waste paper at the Customs control venue of Fuyang Customs Office (affiliated to Hangzhou Customs District).

"There are less plastic films and pop cans hidden in the waste paper now, and the moisture content is lower," said Wang, who has examined numerous sheets of paper, "the foreign suppliers realize now we will say 'No' to those waste paper cubes whose classification is confusing, and we will no longer accept those which contain foreign substances."

Obviously, Green Fence, the national campaign to fight against solid wastes smuggling starting from the beginning of the year has an positive effect on making those paper cubes "cleaner."

It is a good news to the paper making companies in Fuyang, for the "cleaner" cubes means 0.02 to 0.04 less wastage per unit when using these imported materials to produce paper. If take Fuyang, a city that imports millions of tons of waste paper every year as a whole, the savings will be stunning.

Zhejiang Zhengda Holding Group Co., Ltd., a company that imports 450,000 tons of waste paper each year, is the biggest importer in Fuyang for such a material. Before, the company would use 1.05 to 1.07 tons of raw materials, including waste paper, chemicals and other auxiliary items to produce one ton of paper, and now they use 0.02-0.04 less per unit, according to Qiu Jianping, the person in charge of the company's department of foreign trade affairs. Why use less? Because the foreign substances in the imported waste cubes are less.

In 2013, Customs administrations throughout the country all took part in the national campaign codenamed "Green Fence" to beef up the control efforts and stop the inflow of solid wastes. By the end of November of the year, Hangzhou Customs District had exercised control over 6.54 million tons of solid wastes and seized at the scene 3508.47 tons of those whose import were prohibited by the State. The anti-smuggling bureau had filed for investigation 11 solid waste smuggling cases involving a value of RMB over 490 million.

According to the estimation made by Fuyang Paper Association, paper making companies in Fuyang earned RMB 40 to 65 more on each ton of imported waste paper, due to the lower moisture content and less in the quantity of foreign substance. In this way, "Green Fence" had brought in RMB 70 million more for the local paper making industry (which had imported 1.5 million tons of waste paper) for the first 10 months of the year 2013, according to the Association.

SOURCE: General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China