China Bans Import of Plastic Waste
The US, the UK, and Japan are facing major garbage problems now that China has banned the import of many types of foreign waste, including many plastics and mixed papers. Before the January 1 ban, China was importing 500,000 tonnes of Britain’s plastic for recycling each year. The UK’s Environment Secretary recently admitted that they have not planned well for this policy change and do not currently have a short-term solution to their plastic waste problem. The US was exporting about one-third of its recycling to China before the ban. Without other alternatives in place, some sorting facilities are already telling people to place their plastics in the regular garbage.