Trash piles up around the world as China’s 2018 “National Sword” policy cuts off global recycling at the knees.
It used to be that ships bringing Chinese goods to the U.S. returned home full of our recyclables, feeding a lucrative industry in China. However, corruption, abuses, and environmental pollution in China led the government there to put the brakes on this industry beginning this year.
Whereas China and Hong Kong bought 60 percent of the G7’s plastic waste in the first half of 2017, that figure decreased to 10 percent in the first half of 2018. Bales of plastic that U.S. recyclers used to sell for $20 per ton now cost cities $10 per ton for disposal.
While China will still accept some cardboard, plastic, glass, and scrap metal, it can only have an impurity level of 0.5 percent, a standard most U.S. recyclers cannot achieve. Recyclers, governments, and consumers around the world are being forced to rethink their use of plastics, paper waste, and e-waste.
Video Spotlight: China Trash Ban Creates Crisis for US Recyclers
This post is based on the Australian Financial Review article, The $280b crisis sparked by China calling time on taking in “foreign Continue reading