On July 18, China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it would stop accepting imports of waste such as plastic, paper, slag from steelmaking, waste wool, ash, cotton, and yarn; the import ban would be effective by the end of this year.
Based on the data provided by Reuters, China, as a major importer of waste, imported 7.3 million tons of waste plastics in 2016, accounting for 56 percent of world imports. The United States and Japan are the two biggest exports of plastic waste to China.
Actually, the United States exports more kinds of trash to China than plastic waste. “Americans generally don’t recycle their plastic; they export it. And more than half of the $1 billion a year business goes to China.”