China will ban all imports of solid waste from Jan. 1, 2021, authorities have said. The dumping, stacking and disposal of waste products from overseas on Chinese territory will also be banned, according to a notice issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Commerce, and the General Administration of Customs.
The total ban is the culmination of policies introduced since 2017 to phase out the import of solid waste. For example, in late 2017 China banned the import of 24 types of solid waste, including unsorted paper, textiles and vanadium slag.
China began importing solid waste as a source of raw materials in the 1980s and for years has been the world’s largest importer, despite its limited capacity in garbage disposal. Some companies illegally brought foreign waste into the country for profit, posing a threat to the environment and public health.