(Adapted from Resource Recycling’s “From Green Fence to red alert: A China timeline”)

  • February 2013: Green Fence launched
  • November 2015: New two-month customs crackdown on importer practices
  • February 2017: National Sword announced
  • Mid-April 2017: Early indications of a ban
  • Mid-July 2017: Additional enforcement on polluting facilities in China
  • July 18, 2017: China files intent to ban certain recyclables with WTO
  • Late July 2017: China proposes 0.3 percent maximum contamination levels
  • Mid-August 2017: Reports of slowdown in exports to China
  • Late September 2017: Initial impacts of import restrictions reach curbside programs and MRFs
  • November 2017: China increases contamination limit to 0.5 percent
  • December 2017 to January 2018: China issues limited import permits for 2018
  • January 2018: Significant shifts in material flow away from China
  • Late January 2018: CalRecycle public meeting on China’s policies
  • February 2018: Continued industry focus on cleaner materials
  • March 2018: 0.5 percent contamination limit takes effect
  • Mid-March 2018: Blue Sky 2018 announced
  • Mid-April 2018: China announces additional materials prohibited by end of the year
  • May 2018: China suspends CCIC North America for one month
  • June 2018: CalRecycle workshop on changes to international commodity markets
  • June-July 2018: Southeast Asian countries raise quality standards or ban imports
  • July 2018: China declares intent for full recyclable import ban by 2020
  • July-September 2018: Plastic scrap imports decline in SE Asia