China's Operation National Sword



Posted by Ed 30 days ago
When China joined the World Trade Organization, they started taking in the most of the world’s scrap.
The shift coincided with a ramping up of global exports, and China sold wares all around the world in shipping containers. Rather than sending these containers back to China empty, it made sense to fill them with heavy bales of recycling.
This made the whole cycle more cost-effective, and it became cheaper to send recycling to China than anywhere else. Cities around the world were able to subsidize their recycling program with the money from selling their waste, while also not having to deal with as much of the process — at least until National Sword.
Basically, National Sword was China’s ban on foreign recyclables. It banned four categories and 24 types on imports starting in 2018. And National Sword has steadily expanded, banning more recyclables since then, and it could potentially lead to the banning of all incoming recyclable materials by 2020.
The Chinese government stated at the time that National Sword is intended to improve China’s air quality, reduce pollution from “dirty or even hazardous wastes” and prevent illegal waste smuggling. 


Ed 30 days ago
Where does your plastic go? 
A Guardian report from 11 countries tracks how plastic waste makes its way across the world – and overwhelms the poorest nations:

< Back to main category

Login now