China’s decision to stop taking foreign waste

China has long been the leader in imported recyclable materials, just as it is in much of the world’s international trade. However, the decision by China to no longer accept recyclable imports has sent much of the world into disarray. On 18 July of last year, China informed the World Trade Organisation that it would ban imports of 24 categories of recyclables and solid waste by the beginning of 2018. The decision has come on the back of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection’s campaign against ‘foreign garbage’ for the sake of the environment and public health. The documentary ‘Plastic China’ focuses on a makeshift recycling plant, located just outside of Qingdao in China. It is one of many remote toxic towns that process the world’s plastic. Impoverished Chinese [...]