Herts. WithOut Waste (HertsWOW)

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China's ban on "foreign garbage"

Posted by hertswow on January 1, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Comment: This announcement may be seen as bad news since it will put pressure on the UK's councils and waste companies to incinerate more residual waste and even some kinds of sorted plastics. Alternatively it can be seen as an opportunity to put a Circular Economy strategy into effect urgently. The most level-headed statements that we have found are those by the Herts. WateAware Partnership and The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

Now that China 's long-foretold ban on "foreign rubbish" has come ino effect, here are some online articles that give a more nuanced account of the selective ban and its implications:

announcement: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42455378

Seven charts... www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42264788

Six simple ways: www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/42309891/six-simple-ways-to-cut-back-on-plastic

The Guardian: www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/07/chinese-ban-on-plastic-waste-imports-could-see-uk-pollution-rise

lets recycle.com: www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/impact-of-chinese-rules-councils-defra/

China is prohibiting the import of mixed paper [‘unsorted’] and also a number of plastic grades, which will hit some plastics from the municipal waste stream which have traditionally been sent to China. Also impacted is plastic film recovered from back of retail stores. Cardboard can still be moved although tighter restrictions on the level of contrary material come into force from March 2018.

TheConversation.com: theconversation.com/china-bans-foreign-waste-but-what-will-happen-to-the-worlds-recycling-85924

The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership has issued a well-infomred press release:

‘Keep calm and carry on recycling’. That’s the message from the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership (HWP) following news reports about changes which will impact on the ability of the UK and other countries to trade mixed recyclables with China. . . .

CIWEM: “… Painful as the current circumstances might be for the recycling industry, and whether or not there may be other markets open to accepting recyclate streams that are no longer accepted by China, recycling is still firmly in the middle of the waste hierarchy. We are not doing enough in the UK to treat waste as a valuable resource and to design it out of our economy as far as possible. For this reason, the China waste ban could actually be said to be timed quite usefully. ..."

Happy New Year!

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