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A Ban, A ''foreign Garbage'' Global Trade Secret War
- Apr 20, 2018 -

The supply of "made in China" to the world is continuously supplied, and China's recycled foreign garbage is being affixed with "seals". Since July 2017, China formally informed the world trade organization that after the end of 2017, the import of solid waste was no longer accepted, and the Ministry of Commerce was again adding a ban. China would ban the import of another 16 kinds of waste metals and chemical waste from the end of 2018. As the world's largest garbage importing country, the trade secret war of "foreign garbage" began to take place before the stage.



Shut sb. out


Liu Youbin, a spokesman for the Ministry of ecological environment of China, said in Beijing on 19 days, in order to further standardize the management of solid waste import and prevent environmental pollution, it will prohibit the import of 32 kinds of solid waste, such as waste hardware, waste ship, scrap car press, slag, industrial waste plastic and so on.


Since July 2017, China has announced to the world that it will no longer accept 24 kinds of imported solid waste, such as waste plastic, waste paper, waste slag, abandoned textiles, waste slag and so on. With the entry into force of the ban in January 2018, these foreign solid wastes commonly known as "foreign garbage" were officially rejected.


"Foreign garbage" is not a conventional "garbage". Its scientific name is imported solid waste. In addition to the common residual garbage and waste domestic supplies, waste electronic materials, medical equipment, industrial waste and radioactive waste are also in their category.


After the reform and opening up, China has the largest cheap labor reserves in the world, and the rapid development of the manufacturing industry, while the demand for resources is increasing year by year. The appropriate import of foreign solid waste can effectively supplement the shortage of plastic and papermaking resources.


In 2016, more than 2/3 of American waste paper exports were directly sent to China, with a total value of more than $2 billion 200 million, according to ChinaBriefing, a business consultancy. The 27 countries of the European Union also rely on China to receive waste and directly or indirectly transport 87% of recycled plastics to China. According to the British guardian, 2 million 700 thousand tons of waste plastics flow to China every year, accounting for 2/3 of plastic waste output in the country.


According to a set of data, China's annual imports of solid waste account for 56% of the world's total annual output. Last year, imports amounted to 7 million 300 thousand tons, amounting to 3 billion 700 million US dollars. In 2016, only 7 million 300 thousand tons of waste plastics were imported from China, with a total value of US $3 billion 700 million. The US family exported about 16 million tons of rubbish to China.


According to the statistics of an analysis of the Journal of dialogue, the second major importing countries, India, receive only 1/6 of China's garbage in the United States, and the other countries are more unable to compare with China.



A tour of the world


A beverage empty bottle from the United States, landed in Tianjin port together with other rubbish, melted and produced plastic particles in Hebei, then shipped to a workshop in Zhejiang to make a lighter shell, then assembled in Jiangsu's factory as a lighter, and finally shipped from Shanghai to European Retail - the popular science blog portrayed it. A global journey of typical "Ocean Garbage". In fact, besides the plastic case, the metal parts of the lighter are likely to be made from imported scrap metal as well.


This is a normal business chain. Every link in it is actually not known where the raw materials are coming from, and where the products are going.


But every link is rewarded in the deal: American recycling companies get rid of hard - to - handle plastics; three small factories reap the difference between middle profits and plastic and new plastics; European consumers get cheap lighter; even logistics companies that help transfer these materials have been shipped. The cost of transportation is even higher if it is illegally entrained.


Over the years, the state has collected and classified waste paper and waste plastics, and exported them to China, Vietnam and Thailand. As a result, these countries can not only pay for waste disposal, but also make money from them.


The foreign garbage collected is mainly plastic, waste paper, metal materials, etc., which are also valuable materials for recycling. The cost of raw materials recycled from waste plastics is a little cheaper than the direct synthesis of new plastics from oil extracts. Once the amount is large enough, a huge profit space can be created.



The industry chain is "blackening"


Economic benefits will spawn all kinds of profit seeking behavior, and the value of foreign garbage will be gradually deepened. For example, after the waste needle tube and infusion tube are imported in the name of ordinary waste plastics, they are listed and sold by re cleaning packaging; after the import of slag containing various kinds of nonferrous metals, the profit of high purity products can be re smelted.


Electronic waste is one of the major import items. The world produces more than 500 million tons of electronic waste annually, of which more than 70% enter China. According to CCTV, in some countries producing foreign garbage, it costs 300 yuan per ton to process electronic waste in its own country, but smuggling only 100 yuan to China. For the domestic "importers", they not only do not have to spend money to buy electronic waste, but get the other 100 yuan, and after a little treatment, they can also sell a sum of money.


Some smuggled illegal foreign garbage flows into China, forming a profiteering industrial chain after entry, transportation, processing and sales. Take the old clothes as an example. After they enter China, the domestic carriers generally buy these old clothes by one hundred or two hundred yuan and one ton, and then they can sell them at the price of 1 yuan and 1 jin by layer sorting, and remove the manual cost, and turn the price of hand over a few times.


It is easy to "blacken" a serious industrial chain. The following are the counterfeit and shoddy products, health risks, long-term irreversible destruction of soil, water and air.


The impact of foreign garbage on the environment comes mainly from incomplete sorting. Although there is a stable and efficient garbage classification system in developed countries, the classification of Japanese garbage can be as many as dozens of kinds according to the regulations of each county and city, but the level of sorting is still not enough for the efficient use of garbage.


Reshaping of profiteering


Since January 1, 2018, such a system that has been running smoothly for decades has been reshaped: on this day, China's import ban on foreign garbage came into effect. The ban covers 4 categories of 24 solid wastes, including waste plastics from domestic refuse, unsorted waste paper and waste textile materials.


According to the data disclosed by the Ministry of environmental protection of New Zealand, the total value of garbage exported to China by New Zealand last year reached 21 million NZD, with a total weight of 50 thousand tons. The garbage can not enter the Chinese gate from next year, and the New Zealand garbage collection department has to do something else. However, for the narrow New Zealand, domestic land is hard to use, and buyers from outside are also very hard to find.


The trouble is not just in New Zealand, but in the UK, the environmental protection department is also paying for its long slack. Although they were early warning that China would ban the import of foreign waste sooner or later, the local government still did not make any effort to build a new garbage collection system.


Simon Erin, chief executive of the British waste recycling association, said angrily that the British government was performing poorly in this job. "If the government takes waste and recycling seriously, they need to invest and put forward a coherent plan for the recycling industry," he said. The fact is that the plan does not exist and the British Isles are facing a serious garbage siege crisis.


It is not only the small and medium island countries such as Britain and new Japan, which are worried about China's policy, even if it is as large as the United States and Australia, and there is no way to deal with such a lot of rubbish at once in the case of a waste treatment system that once relied heavily on China.


In the US, according to Bloomberg, a business information agency, 1/3 of the world's most garbage producing countries are not recycled. In order to eliminate surplus rubbish, 40 thousand people are engaged in work related to garbage export to China. China prohibits the import of garbage, and the United States has to face the difficulties of dealing with these huge giants on its own.


Bird, chairman of a British government recycling Advisory Committee, said the responsibility to solve the problem of long-term waste must cover the global supply chain of products, especially manufacturers. This means that producers must pay the price to ensure that the products they are making can be processed in a more effective and environmentally friendly manner.


According to law media, China's halting of foreign garbage will push Europe to upgrade its recycling industry. The French Tribune reported that the total ban on foreign waste could be difficult to avoid in the short term, but in the long run, the subversive decision could promote the repositioning of the manufacturing industry.