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China bans the import of 32 waste materials


The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment has announced that the importation of scrap steel, post-industrial plastics waste, PET bottles and waste electrical and electronic equipment will be banned by the end of the year. The statement listed 32 grades of materials that would be moved from the ’unrestricted or restricted’ import list to ’banned import solid waste’.

In the first wave, 16 materials including compressed car scrap, scrap ships, plastics rejected from factory processes, PET bottles and electrical appliances for the recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals will be forbidden from 31 December 2018. Another sixteen materials were added to this list including stainless steel and wood wastes which will prohibit in 2019. Concerns from the BRMA have been raised because rubbish is already building up in UK recycling plants due to Chinas import ban because there is nowhere for it to be sent once it has been recycled. 

The Guardian newspaper has also confirmed that chaos has been brought to councils all around the UK since China’s announcement as lower grade plastics have started to pile up in their yards. The council have relied on exporting plastic recycling to China for 20 years now and have been left unsure of the consequences of the ban. Mary Creagh MP has warned that China’s ban could mean a “double whammy” for council tax payers if the price of exported waste falls and the cost of disposal rises. However some experts believe that in the long term, the decision China has made could be an opportunity for the UK to develop its recycling infrastructure.

Let’s recycle, the online news station for waste management, has also confirmed that China’s decision could prompt the UK’s economy to expand into chaos.

Source: MRU, 20 April 2018

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