Friday, April 20, 2018

China trash ban is a global recycling wake up call

chinese man swimming in plastic bottles

China's trash import ban is giving the global recycling industry an enormous headache. The flip side: the world has finally been forced to rethink its approach to waste.

Ivana Kottasová reports for CNN Money:
Beijing has last year banned the imports of 24 varieties of solid waste, including types of plastic and unsorted paper. On Friday, it extended the ban to dozens more types of recyclable materials, including steel waste, used auto parts and old ships.
The ban has terrible consequences for some places. A town in Australia has been sending recyclable waste to a landfill because it can no longer afford to recycle it.
In the UK, hoards of low-grade plastic have been hanging around in storage, eventually heading for incineration.
The US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries warned the ban is disrupting global supply chains and may lead manufacturers to use new materials rather than recycled ones.
But experts say the ban has been a massive wake-up call for countries like the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Japan and others who relied on China to buy and handle their trash from them. 

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