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China's Refusal To Act As A Global Dump Site Has Forced Europe To Upgrade Its Recycling Industry
Nov 22, 2017

The Chinese government announced this summer that it will strictly limit the import of rubbish from 2018 onwards. In the short term, the losses of local governments and related waste recycling enterprises at various levels in France may be hard to avoid, but in the long run, this disruptive decision may prompt manufacturing relocation. 

According to the French "Tribune" reported on November 4, since July 18, the world has resisted breathing. Local governments, waste recycling companies and governments around the world are eagerly awaiting the details of China's strict policy on refuse importation. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection said 24 types of rubbish will be banned, including plastic rubbish, waste paper, waste textile raw materials, and scrap from steel production. 

Reported that the Chinese government will be given by the end of this year a detailed list of banned garbage imports, there are only some privately circulating informal programs, especially the plastic recycling industry. This kind of suspense in the industry, such as pins and needles, does not leave much hope: Most businesses consider the permitted amount of waste to be imported as waste plastic is likely to be banned. 

Yevgenyya, a partner at France-based Jethro, which has an office in Shanghai, said that due to concerns about the environmental impact and the health of the domestic population (the International Trade Law recognizes areas where sovereign governments make decisions), the Chinese government's decision Fair and legitimate.The main objective of this policy is to promote the recovery and reuse of domestic waste and to reduce the pollution of soil and air. 

Reported that the Chinese government's decision in the WTO without any prior consultation was passed, but its impact may be fierce. In 2014, China imported 49.6 million tons of rubbish to extract the raw materials needed for industrial production, accounting for more than a quarter of the world's total exports of raw materials and rubbish, more than half of such rubbish in Europe. As a global dumping site, China has a clear role to play in plastic rubbish. The total volume of plastic rubbish that can be extracted from raw materials worldwide is about 11.8 million tons each year, while 9 million tons are finally used in the manufacturing industry in China. 

Yevgenyya said: "This will be a global market that involves all Western countries." And the French Recycling Federation said after the announcement of China's announcement in its announcement the day after: "By then, the rest of the world Of the factories will not be able to digest the huge amount of rubbish now imported from China. " 

Yevgeny added: "There is very little demand in Europe for the recycling of plastic wastes and there is simply no capacity to absorb excess excess waste (caused by China's policy)." Garbage-loaded vessels have to sail to China for about three months . In this connection, the French Federation of Recycling Enterprises pointed out: "From the beginning of October, those who transport rubbish to China have to take risks, and for months, China Customs has stepped up its control of imported rubbish." 

Reported that France is simply not enough storage capacity at present, the stock of garbage in the past few years is growing. What is even worse is that with the increase in the supply of rubbish, the market for recyclable plastic rubbishes is already collapsing. In the short run, most of the rubbish previously exported to China may be incinerated or landfilled, in opposition to the French government's commitment to 100% reuse of plastic by 2025. 

Yevgeny believes tax on "ecological contribution" should be added to plastic products imported into the European Union to make up for the deficit in landfill disposal in various parts of France. This tax will affect the export of Chinese products to the EU (Chinese products are also the main source of EU rubbish), which is reflected in the form of retaliation, which can also serve to encourage "ecological concepts". But the road will soon reach its limit: "EU law severely controls the construction of new landfills or incineration facilities, and the capacity of the current facilities will certainly be insufficient." 

The report argues that in the long run, the hope should be that China's policy of banning the import of rubbishes should be transformed into a "great opportunity to enhance the recycling industries in France and Europe." The first is to improve the quality of garbage collection, more importantly, to seek and promote the recovery of recycled materials in the local market outlet. 

Yevgeny pointed out that a brief plunge in the price of recycled materials can also revive European manufacturing. Products that are required to be marketed in the European market must contain a percentage of recycled materials that will give European companies some time to recover in order to better face China's competition.

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