Con­trols on solid waste tight­ened

China Daily (Canada) - - ANALYSIS -

Ef­fort to stop smug­gling of im­ported ‘for­eign garbage’ gets new em­pha­sis

By the end of this year, China plans to ban 24 types of solid waste, in­clud­ing plas­tics, tex­tiles and un­sorted pa­per. The list of items banned from im­port is ex­pected to grow longer by 2019 in cat­e­gories that can be re­placed by do­mes­tic sources, ac­cord­ing to the ac­tion plan.

Along with the for­eign garbage, other types of solid waste were listed as tar­gets in the national cam­paign to con­trol pol­lu­tion be­cause of their large vol­ume and the haz­ards posed to the en­vi­ron­ment and pub­lic health. They in­clude ma­te­ri­als gen­er­ated from in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion, breed­ing farms and hos­pi­tals.

China gen­er­ates con­sid­er­able amounts of do­mes­tic solid waste an­nu­ally — 4 bil­lion tons of waste from live­stock and poul­try, 3.3 bil­lion tons from plants and 1.35 mil­lion tons from hos­pi­tals. More­over, the coun­try has ac­cu­mu­lated around 60 to 70 bil­lion tons of solid waste, a fig­ure that con­tin­ues to grow and ex­ac­er­bate en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems.

Min­ing is a par­tic­u­lar source of con­cern.

“Of 8,345 tail­ing ponds, 90 per­cent are small scale but with high risks of en­vi­ron­men­tal con­tam­i­na­tion,” Zhang said, warn­ing gov­ern­ments to take more pre­cau­tions.

China has ex­panded its solid­waste pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity and has is­sued mea­sures to con­trol pol­lu­tion in re­cent years. In 2015, 65 per­cent, or 1.99 bil­lion tons, of solid waste from in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion was pro­cessed and re­cy­cled — 13 per­cent­age points more than in 2001.

But Zhang ad­vo­cated ad­di­tional mea­sures, in­clud­ing re­vis­ing re­lated laws, im­prov­ing man­age­ment and car­ry­ing out stronger en­force­ment to re­duce solid waste pol­lu­tion. The re­sult would be a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment and im­proved pub­lic health, he said.

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhengjin­ran@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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