China’s solid waste imports continued to decline in the first eight months of 2019 with the implementation of the ban on foreign garbage.
The country’s solid waste imports reached 9.7 million tonnes during the January-August period, down 29 percent year on year, according to the General Administration of Customs.
In August alone, imports of plastic, paper and metal waste totaled 1.15 million tonnes, down from 1.26 million tonnes in July, customs data showed Sunday.
China began importing solid waste as a source of raw materials in the 1980s and for years has been the world’s largest importer, despite its weak capacity in garbage disposal. Some companies have profited by illegally bringing foreign waste into the country, posing a threat to the environment and public health.
As part of its anti-pollution efforts, the government decided to phase out and halt such imports by the end of 2019, except for those containing resources that are not substitutable. The government also moved to improve the domestic solid waste recycle rate.