What percentage of recycling goes to China?

How to recycle in China

It is expected that by the end of 2025 it will be implemented in all regulations throughout the country. By then plastic bags will no longer be allowed to be used and even hotels will be banned from dispensing single-use products that are made of plastic. The regulations also include a ban on sending parcels and couriers in plastic wrapping for example.

Blaming China for all this would be inappropriate, as much of the plastic they produce ends up in Western markets. On the other hand, until recently a percentage of the plastic pollution in nature that China generated was from plastics coming from the West. In 2018 China announced that they were stopping accepting plastic waste from other countries for recycling citing environmental concerns for the country.

How much garbage China produces per year

We give you a lot of grief about where the plastic that you use only once a day goes. The cups, bags and containers you use once and throw away. You probably already know that much of it is polluting the sea and decimating its biodiversity. But what about the one that doesn’t reach the sea? That was going to China.

Because until 2017 China was the destination for virtually all the waste plastic generated in the West. And that’s a lot of plastic. In 2016 it was 14.1 million metric tons. It’s not a question of weight. It’s the space taken up by such a quantity of waste.

But China was starting to produce its own plastic waste at a good rate. More than a billion people carrying groceries in bags and drinking from the same plastic cups as in your office, that’s a lot of material to recycle. And they couldn’t keep up.

So in 2017, China banned imports of this waste, apart from the fact that it was an industry that had ceased to be strategic and had become an environmental problem for a mainland country with a serious problem in that regard.

World garbage figures 2021

Eliminating throwaway plastic has become a priority in China. The Asian country’s huge consumer market has harmful consequences for the environment. Locally, the abandonment of plastics and the insufficient capacity to recycle this material are noticeable.

Stores, markets and restaurants in major cities will have to stop using non-biodegradable plastic bags. And restaurants and food stalls will not be allowed to use non-biodegradable straws either. All this will come into force from the end of 2020.

In the end, a significant part of these plastics end up in landfills and even worse, in the sea. Only a small percentage is recycled. While in the oceans this type of garbage accumulates. The problem is such that it has awakened a real contest of ideas to find a solution to reduce the impact of plastic in the seas.

Pablo G. Bejerano Journalist specialized in new technologies. Interested in everything that has to do with the Internet and its possibilities to change people’s lives.read all my articles (2106)

China closes borders again 2021

There are already conventions to address this situation, such as the Basel Convention in 1989, which is an agreement signed by 170 nations, with an international regulation that contains guidelines on the treatment of electronic waste. Developed countries must inform developing nations of the arrival of hazardous waste shipments, but unfortunately this does not happen.

In large cities, only 11% of the electronic material generated is recycled, compared to 28% of other types or classes of waste; the rest ends up in landfills and, consequently, lead, cadmium and mercury leach into groundwater, although it is not known to what extent. The adverse effects associated with such substances in industry have been studied and are widely documented in the scientific literature. Twelve substances known as persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, have been identified. Mexico, Norway and the European Union have proposed others, such as lindane, pentabromodiphenyl ether and hexabromobiphenyl, for review by the POPs Review Committee, a subsidiary body of the Convention, of which Mexico is a member through the National Institute of Ecology (INE) of the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).