Skip to main content

Garbage Imports To Taiwan, Southeast Asia Soar After China Bans Foreign Waste

On July 27, 2017, China’s State Council announced that “foreign garbage”, including "plastic waste from living sources, paper, textile waste, and vanadium slag," would be banned from entering the country.  On July 18 Beijing had already notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that by the end of the year it would no longer accept shipments of those types of waste.

According to state-run Xinhua News Agency, China began to import solid waste as raw materials in the 1980s to meet its domestic demand for resources. However, some companies allegedly engaged in smuggling foreign garbage into the country for profit, "damaging the environment and public health."

The Chinese authorities believe that imported solid waste poses "a serious threat to the environment" and has caused "widespread public concern." By the end of 2019 China will gradually phase out the import of "solid waste for which substitute resources are available in China," Xinhua said.
Embed from Getty Images

For more than 20 years, China has been the world’s "dumping ground for solid waste." In 2016 alone about half of the world’s exports of waste plastic, paper and metals went to China. That year the country imported from the United States 16 million tons of waste worth $5.2 billion dollars. Among the countries that relied on China for their waste disposal were the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.


The UK exported almost two-thirds of its waste to mainland China and Hong Kong. Between 2012 and 2017 UK businesses shipped there more than 2.7 million tons of plastic waste. In 2016 Germany sent to China 560.000 tons of plastic waste, one-third of Europe's 1.6 million tons of waste exports to the country.

In March of this year the United States raised concerns over China's ban on foreign waste at the WTO’s Council for Trade in Goods. “China’s import restrictions on recycled commodities have caused a fundamental disruption in global supply chains for scrap materials, directing them away from productive reuse and towards disposal,” a US representative told the Council.

After China announced its ban on foreign trash, waste exporters began to look for alternatives. The United Kingdom eyed Taiwan and Southeast Asia as new markets for its plastic waste. In the four months since the ban came into effect, UK exports of plastic waste to Malaysia more than trebled, while those to Vietnam and to Thailand doubled. Taiwan's imports of plastic waste from the UK increased by more than 1,200%. Other countries that experienced a surge in waste imports from the UK are Poland (+31%), Turkey (+166%), Pakistan (+78%), India (+37%) and Indonesia (+19%). 

According to Amy Brooks, a doctoral student in engineering at the University of Georgia, countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia are already considering policies to limit the import of foreign waste

The government of Thailand has begun a crackdown on illegal waste imports and has vowed to send back shipments of plastic garbage. After a series of fires at waste dumps, the Polish government introduced new rules to restrict the import of waste into the country.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taipei Walking Tours - A Guide To Taipei In 6 Days

Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Asia. With about 10.74 million tourists in 2017, it lags behind Asian neighbours like Thailand (35 million), Hong Kong (58 million), Japan (28.7 million), or Indonesia (14 million).
Nevertheless, Taiwan is a great place to visit due to its amazing food, fascinating history, traditional Chinese culture, friendly atmosphere, safety, and natural attractions. Moreover, Taiwan has a very convenient visa policy. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European Union members, can travel to Taiwan without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days. You can literally buy a plane ticket and go to Taiwan without doing any paperwork.    
If you travel to Taiwan, your first destination will probably be the capital and largest city: Taipei.




Taipei is the political and economic centre of the island, with lots of attractions ranging from modern skyscrapers and shopping centres to night markets, colonial Japanese architect…

Majority Of Germans Are Afraid Of Donald Trump - Survey

More than two-thirds of Germans think that Donald Trump's foreign policy is making the world more dangerous, according to a recent survey.

The survey shows that 69 percent of respondents worry that Trump's policy is making the world more dangerous, topping this year's list. 

63 percent of respondents said they are worried about asylum seekers, 63% fear "tensions due to the arrival of foreigners", 61 percent worry about politicians' inability to tackle problems. 59 percent are worried about terrorism - 12 percent less than a year ago.

58 percent are worried about the cost of the EU debt crisis to German taxpayers, while 57 percent fear political extremism.

"The Fears of the Germans" (Die Ängste der Deutschen) is a survey conducted every year by R+V-Infocenter since 1992. 2,400 people above 14 years are asked about their biggest worries. This year the survey was conducted between June 8 to July 18.

Rumours About Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing's Arrest Spread Online

Rumours about the arrest of Chinese model and actress Fan Bingbing on charges of tax evasion have spread on Chinese media.
As Apple Daily reports, celebrity Fan Bingbing and her younger brother Fan Chengcheng have allegedly been detained for taking part in a tax evasion scheme alongside her manager, Mu Xiaoguang.
Mu has also allegedly been charged with destroying incriminating evidence.

On May 28 TV anchor Cui Yongyuan posted on Weibo a contract that showed Fan Bingbing being paid $1.56 million (RMB10 million) for four days’ work on director Feng Xiaogang's film “Cell Phone 2.” 

Later Cui released another contract worth $7.8 million (RMB50 million) for the same work. He alleged that Fan had declared to tax authorities only the first contract, thus avoiding to pay taxes on the second, larger amount. 

Double-contracts for the purpose of tax evasion are known in China as "yin-yang contracts". 

Although the Chinese government censored Cui's posts, in early June China's t…