Blog Post

MassDEP is aware of the Chinese government’s policy and intention to limit the import of secondary mixed paper and mixed plastics. MassDEP is evaluating the situation and communicating with impacted parties as well as other state government agencies nationwide. There continues to be significant uncertainty on the short and long-term impacts of this policy. As more information becomes available, MassDEP will share updates through the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program and work to facilitate solutions to foster the continued success of recycling programs in Massachusetts.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Chinese National Sword policy, there are two upcoming webinars that will provide important updates:

The Recycling Partnership will host a free webinar this Thursday, October 19. For more information, click here. The Recycling Partnership’s website also has a helpful list of recycling program “do’s and don’ts” called Shielding Your Program from National Sword.

EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, October 26. For information, click here.

For the time being, the best step that businesses and institutions can take is to pay close attention to both your trash and recycling streams. Work with your employees and your trash and recycling contractors to ensure that you keep recyclables out of your trash containers and trash and other contaminants out of your recycling containers. Common recycling contaminants of concern to watch for include rubber gloves, plastic bags, food waste, plastic film, and Styrofoam. Ensuring high quality, clean recyclables is always important, but is especially important in these current market conditions. Make sure your hauler notifies you immediately any time there are concerns with either your trash or recycling loads so that you can take prompt corrective action.

If you need assistance with your program, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts stands ready to help. To speak to a recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at