China to ban all waste imports on 1 January

Waste imports to China will be banned from January 1, 2021, state media has reported. It marks the end of a three-year phase-out of accepting rubbish from overseas.

China has imported solid waste since the 1980s. This would be cleaned, crushed and transformed into raw materials, according to an article from AFP. Pollution often resulted when materials could not be recycled or properly disposed of.

The government started to close China’s doors to foreign waste in January 2018, causing backlogs of waste in the exporting countries, writes AFP. Since then, China has gradually banned imports of different types of plastics, car parts, paper, textiles, and scrap steel or wood.

From January 1, the ban will extend to all kinds of waste, according to the Xinhua news agency. The agency said China’s solid waste imports stood at 13.48 million tonnes last year — down from 22.63 million tonnes in 2018.

Photo: Sheila / Flickr Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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