China intends to reduce solid waste imports to zero by 2020. The intention is to reduce pollution and encourage recycling sites in China to deal with the increasing volumes of domestic waste.
Since the 1980s, China has imported hundreds of millions of tonnes of foreign paper, plastic, electronic waste and scrap metal for recycling.
Beijing commenced restrictions of imports last year, and customs authorities have concentrated on waste smuggling, leading to hundreds of arrests.
“China will further tighten restrictions of waste imports and eventually aims to realise zero waste imports by 2020,” the director of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s solid waste division said.