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Astana, Kazakhstan • 06 June, 2022 | 14:34
2 min read

Kazakhstan Introduces Ban on Plastic Waste Export

The restriction helps provide the domestic waste industry with raw materials

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State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance announced that starting from June 14, 2022, it will ban the export of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) waste from the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports. The restriction will be in force for six months.

Not enough plastic

According to the committee, the purpose of the ban is to provide domestic producers of polymer products with more raw materials, specifically PET (polyethylene terephthalate) waste, to increase production and reduce the cost of finished goods in the domestic market.

According to an article released by Inbusiness on May 24, domestically produced PET waste is exported to two countries: Russia and Uzbekistan. This leaves very little opportunity for Kazakhstan's waste collection and processing industry to develop. 

Status Everest LLP has been operating in the Turkestan region since 2016. The company says it is facing a shortage of raw materials.

We started contacting the neighboring regions of Zhambyl and Kyzylorda [for provision of raw material]. We found out that both of these regions work only for export. One supplies to Uzbekistan, the other to Russia. Domestic processors are left without raw materials. As for jobs, we employ 21 people; our processing line is about 25-30% loaded. If we calculate the potential workload, we can create jobs for 50-60 people.

Sanzhar Suleymanov, director of Status Everest LLP

According to Suleymanov, the resulting end product - chemical fiber - can be classified as a strategic raw material on a par with cotton and linen. "No textile industry can work without it," he said.

Green Technology Industry LLP faces a similar problem. Executive director Klara Abdrakhmanova says that only one-third of the business is loaded; the employees sometimes have to be sent on unpaid leave. On top of that, the company is planning to launch new chemical fiber production in the summer. The technology will allow the production of up to 50,000 tons of fiber annually, but this will require 60,000-65,000 tons of PET waste.

Experts in the industry have been suggesting various solutions on every level of production, with the main one being the ban on PET waste export. In response to the concerns, on May 27, the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development issued an order "On some issues of regulation of the export of polyethylene terephthalate waste".

The export ban includes the following items: PET bottles, flasks, and similar containers with a capacity of no more than 2 litres; PET bottles, flasks and similar containers with a capacity exceeding 2 litres; waste, pieces and scraps of polypropylene.

Export of plastic waste ordered for shipment before the date of the ban will not be impeded.

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