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The world is scrambling now that China is refusing to be a trash dumping ground

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Quoting officials from Greenpeace and other left leaning organizations way, way too much......but an interesting article.

Importing and reusing scrape has been an oft-used means to industrial growth by countries dating back to Japan in the 1920's & 1930's......Taiwan and South Korea in the 1950's and 1960's.....

Moving on from recycling will not stop pollution in China.  That will require honest regulators which are in a distinct short supply in many parts of the world...China being part of that group.


A woman sits with her baby in a sea of plastic in Laizhou, China, where she works on ripping the labels off the bottles. Photo: Peter Ford/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

For decades, China was the world's largest importer of waste — a status that many countries took for granted, going by the reaction to Beijing's surprise decision to stop taking in 24 types of scraps starting 2018.

More than three months into the ban, waste exporters are still scrambling for an alternative to China, experts told CNBC.


A woman stands amid a huge pile of used plastic bottles at a plastics recycling mill in Wuhan, China.

Different ideas have been thrown out: The European Union said it's mulling a tax on plastics usage, the U.K. was looking to divert some of its trash to Southeast Asia, and the U.S. asked China to lift its ban, according to media reports. But none of those suggestions are long-term solutions to the new global order in waste management, experts said.

The U.S., the U.K., the EU and Japan were among those that exported most of their waste to China.

For those four refuse exporters, "China's ban on importing waste means cutting down their main channel to dispose [that] waste, which has brought them unexpected problems in a short time," said Neil Wang, greater China president for consultancy Frost and Sullivan.

"They haven't come up with some effective solutions in a short term. Major waste exporters are still trying to struggle a way out," he added.

China was the dumping ground for more than half of the world's trash before the ban and, at its peak, was importing almost 9 million metric tons of plastic scrap a year, according to Greenpeace.

The country started importing waste in the 1980s to fuel a growing manufacturing sector. It grew a whole waste processing and recycling industry, but improper handling of trash and a lack of effective supervision turned the country into a major polluter.......

..........In blocking what it now considers trash from entering its borders, China has also kept out "scrap commodities" — previously processed materials used again by manufacturers, noted the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

The materials are considered to be more environmentally friendly and energy-saving to use, the ISRI said. The lack of supply of such scrap could lead to Chinese factories using materials that're more harmful to the environment, said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI.


Chinese tourists wear masks as protection from the pollution outside the Forbidden City during a day of high pollution in Beijing, China.


The ban, she told CNBC is "disrupting the flow of valuable, energy-saving scrap commodities that are needed by Chinese manufacturers."

"The result is not only the potential for recyclable materials in the United States being diverted to landfills, but Chinese manufacturers using more virgin materials — that expend energy and greenhouse gas emissions in their production process — in place of the scrap they used to use that was beneficial for the environment," she added.

Still, there have been instances where Chinese custom officials were inconsistent in carrying out the ban, Wiener noted.



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