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Indonesia sets contamination tolerance level for RCP imports at 2 per cent

Container ship on its route to customers.
Indonesia has gained importance for European and US waste paper
exporters since China banned imports of mixed paper.
17 Jun 2020 − 

The change in contamination thresholds for imports of recovered paper and other secondary raw materials ends over a year of uncertainty and "zero tolerance" inspections.

The Indonesian government has clarified the contamination thresholds for secondary raw material imports. In a decree issued on 27 May, Indonesian authorities established a tolerance level of 2 per cent for contamination for recovered paper (RCP) and plastic scrap. The newly announced tolerance levels apply only to waste that is neither hazardous nor toxic ("non-B3 waste").

In defining limits for the concentration on non-target materials, Indonesia had ended a period of uncertainty for recyclers and "zero tolerance" inspections, according to the US trade association Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

However, the 2 per cent tolerance is reportedly only a temporary solution. In the new policy statement, the government stipulates that an inter-agency task force is to be created within six months, which is to develop a "road map" geared toward greater self-sufficiency in secondary raw materials through increased domestic supplies while also reducing imports through a quota system and tighter contamination thresholds.

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