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Article

Impact of China’s National Sword Policy on the U.S. Landfill and Plastics Recycling Industry

1
School of Management, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
2
Environmental/Ecological Economist, RENEW, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elena Magaril
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2456; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042456
Received: 17 January 2022 / Revised: 8 February 2022 / Accepted: 14 February 2022 / Published: 21 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Topic Solid Waste Management)
This paper analyzes the impacts of China’s Green Fence and National Sword Programs, under which strict contamination limits were imposed on recyclable materials, besides prohibiting imports of low quality recyclables. Specifically, this study investigates the impacts of this policy on landfills, and the risks to the U.S. plastics secondary materials market and material recovery facilities (MRFs). A hierarchical regression analysis reveals the significant impacts of China’s Green Fence and National Sword polices on the amount landfilled plastic. Controlling for oil prices, producer price index (PPI), and amount of plastic scrap exported, our findings show that the Green Fence had no statistically significant impact on the amount of plastic landfilled in the U.S. However, the quantity of plastic landfilled in the U.S. increased by 23.2% following the implementation of National Sword. Furthermore, analysis of the annual reports submitted by registered MRFs in New York (NY) state reveals that the total amount of plastic recovered by them has decreased. We suggest that demand creation and investments that improve the quality of bales are needed to help solve this economic dilemma. View Full-Text
Keywords: plastics; National Sword; landfill; material recovery; contamination; hierarchical regression plastics; National Sword; landfill; material recovery; contamination; hierarchical regression
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vedantam, A.; Suresh, N.C.; Ajmal, K.; Shelly, M. Impact of China’s National Sword Policy on the U.S. Landfill and Plastics Recycling Industry. Sustainability 2022, 14, 2456. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042456

AMA Style

Vedantam A, Suresh NC, Ajmal K, Shelly M. Impact of China’s National Sword Policy on the U.S. Landfill and Plastics Recycling Industry. Sustainability. 2022; 14(4):2456. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042456

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vedantam, Aditya, Nallan C. Suresh, Khadija Ajmal, and Michael Shelly. 2022. "Impact of China’s National Sword Policy on the U.S. Landfill and Plastics Recycling Industry" Sustainability 14, no. 4: 2456. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042456

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