Recyclers are waiting for relief from supply chain backups and seeking entry to new markets. ISRI’s Trade Committee meeting on Sunday, March 21, in Las Vegas featured a recap of global trade conditions and legislative work on Capitol Hill.

In his safety message, Executive Committee Liaison Andrew Lincoln, vice president of Lincoln Recycling, praised ISRI’s Organizational Culture and Safety Success training, which his company has attended. “It really allowed us to do a reset and set the culture that we want, which is [that] safety is a priority from the top down,” he says.

Billy Johnson, ISRI’s chief lobbyist, updated the committee on The Ocean Reform Shipping Act. The goal of the bill is to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by making it more difficult for ocean carriers to unreasonably refuse goods ready for export and to give the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) greater authority to regulate carriers’ harmful practices.

Johnson says the Senate version of the bill will be debated March 23 and is likely to pass. Then a congressional committee will compare the Senate bill with the House version passed in December. “The conference between the bills will be negligible; it may be just the blink of an eye,” Johnson assures members.

Joe Pickard, ISRI’s chief economist and director of commodities, updated the committee on two countries of interest, India and Malaysia. Secretary General Amar Singh of the Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) is attending ISRI2022 and was acknowledged by the Trade Committee. ISRI is working to get the Malaysian government to accept ISRI Specifications to allow shippers to meet the country’s newest regulations on paper and ferrous and nonferrous metals imports.

Pickard updated the committee on recycling’s place in the global economy. 2021 was the best year for U.S. exports of recyclables in a decade, he says. “Even though we’ve seen China drop quickly down the rankings, other countries have taken up the demand,” he says. U.S. exports of recyclables increased year over year 50.6% to 38.5 million metric tons of material, he reported. Mexico, India, Turkey, Vietnam, and Malaysia were top destinations for U.S. exports; China fell to 11th place.

Exports from the U.S. to Latin America increased 50% in 2021, Pickard says. A large delegation from Brazil is attending ISRI2022. Mexican, Honduran, and Mexican firms are among those represented. One walk-in guest at the convention is from Guatemala.

Photo courtesy of Storyblocks.






Dan Hockensmith

Dan Hockensmith

I'm a native Ohioan who since 2014 has called Maryland home. My background includes print, broadcast, and digital journalism; government contracting; and marketing communications.