Here’s How China’s Ban On Plastics Impacts You (Unless You Live In Boise)

Jan 3, 2018

Credit Mike Carney / Flickr Creative Commons

Republic Services picks up paper, aluminum and plastics in southwest Idaho communities from Middleton to Mountain Home. The company is no longer accepting plastics numbered 3-7, which includes things like pipes, plastic bags, some food containers and plastic utensils.

The change comes after a new plastics ban went into effect in China, which says these types of plastics have a greater potential of contamination.

“It’s been pretty dramatic for a lot of towns and municipalities across the country and world,” says Colin Hickman with the Boise Public Works Department.

But Hickman says that unlike the rest of Ada County – Boise residents can continue recycling plastics numbered 1-7 – and Republic Services will still pick them up.

“In the next week or so the city will be announcing a new program that we think not only will help recycle and recover those materials that we did in the past, but even go further and help to recycle additional materials.”

China has become a major repository for the world’s recycling. According to NPR, the country’s new policy is forcing recycling companies in the U.S. to look to other countries for plastic storage and processing.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio