It is profitable to ship waste to China because the ship is empty and needs some ballast for the trip home…
Ever wonder about recycled glass in your blue bin?
It makes no sense to scrap bottles and waste all that energy to remelt and reuse it.
They could more cost effectively use it as fill in concrete or for roads but most people would not understand the economics of it or want to be bothered doing the right things ( like cleaning it and returning it to a store for deposit )
Some places claim to recycle over 90% of their waste in Scandinavia.
Truth is they burn it and use the heat, but that is not recycling it.
True recycling means you reduce your footprint and reuse a material and reduce your extraction of the resource from where it came.
We do a good job of this with steel and most metals ( although you have to question a lot of what is put in a can if it could be put in a bottle )