BEIJING – China’s ban on importing 24 types of waste that comes into force on Jan. 1 will serve as a wake-up call to countries that export waste to seek more sustainable methods, environmental organization Greenpeace said on Friday.
The measure, announced in July and effective from Monday on, prohibits the entry into China of 24 types of waste grouped into four categories: domestic plastics, unsorted paper, various types of mine slag and textile waste.
For Greenpeace, this prohibition will send warnings around the world and will promote the search for methods to generate less waste and to treat them adequately in the country of origin just as within China.
“Rather than find new places to export waste, governments and the private sector must find ways to simply reduce the amount of waste we are creating,” it said in a statement.
Since the 1980s, China has been the world’s largest waste importer and in 2012 56 percent of global exported plastic waste ended up in China, according to Greenpeace data.