China is on a campaign against “foreign garbage.” A ban against imports of some solid waste is planned by year’s end.
It’s part of China’s continued efforts to clean-up the environment.
CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.
For more than 30 years, imports of recycled goods have fueled China’s manufacturing boom. But now, the government said it’s had enough.
“The problem of foreign garbage is loathed by everyone in China,” Guo Jing, director of the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Environmental Protection said. “We have notified the World Trade Organization of the ban. A few unscrupulous deals at home and abroad illegally imported and carried foreign garbage for their own interests, which has caused damage to the country’s environment and public health.”
Official figures show that in 2016, China imported more than 7 million tons of plastic waste. The waste was valued at nearly $4 billion, accounting for 56 percent of world imports.
China previously allowed the imports because the garbage was recycled, creating extra supplies of metals and materials.
However, the country’s speedy industrial development has seen it struggling to regulate waste disposal, leading to toxic waterways and cities blanketed in smog.
Back in April, the government adopted a plan to reform the import system of solid waste.
On July 1, the Ministry of Environmental Protection launched a month-long campaign to crack down on pollution in imported waste processing and more measures are likely to follow.