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War on pollution: China imposes further bans on waste imports

|Apr 19|magazine5 min read

In China’s latest effort to fight pollution, it has banned more types of scrap metal and chemical waste from being imported into the country.

16 new types of scrap metal and waste have been added to the 24 types that were first banned in January.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced the reform on its website, stating that steel smelting slag had been added to the list of items banned from entering China’s borders.

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According to Reuters, China imported 47mn tonnes of waste in 2015. The country has been the main exporter of waste since it decided to begin importing in the 1980s to provide materials for its growing manufacturing industry.

It was hoped that the move would not only help China combat pollution but also fore other countries to manage their waste better, but CNBC has stated that Europe, Japan and the US are still struggling to find ways to dispose of their scraps.

Neil Wang, greater China consultant for Frost and Sullivan, told the news website: “China’s ban on importing waste means cutting down their main channel to dispose waste, which has brought them unexpected problems in a short time. They haven’t come up with some effective solutions in a short term. Major waste exporters are still trying to struggle a way out.”