Starting in January, China’s government is enacting a plastic waste import ban, in an attempt to cut down on millions of tons of plastic and other recyclables they receive every year. This change may drastically affect how the world recycles and disposes of waste.
But while government officials worldwide consider how to move forward after China’s plastic waste import ban, the main focus has to be on the environment. This ban may undo the decades-long effort to build a plastics recycling industry, and lead to even more plastics being produced; IndustryWeek reports that China has already begun investing in brand new plastic to replace what they’re no longer recycling, to the delight of US chemical companies.
That’s especially bad news as plastic waste continues to harm the environment, particularly marine animals. The U.N. has called our plastics problem a “planetary crisis,” and action needs to be taken soon. Unless another country steps in to fill the recycling gap China has created, this issue will only get worse.
Read China Is Officially Enacting a Plastic Waste Import Ban by Claudia Geib and Chelsea Gohd at Futurism.