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China Releases Detailed Policy on its "Prohibition of Foreign Waste Imports"

In a detailed policy announcement on July 27, the Chinese government outlined its goals for tying import restrictions to improving domestic "recovery and reuse of domestic solid waste."

The policy statement is available in Chinese and in English.

It is the first acknowledgement that the government intends to "progressive[ly] stop solid waste imports" as they "can be replaced by domestic supplies before the end of 2019." The government is concerned that “plastic waste imports from living sources as well as mixed paper ...highly endanger the environment” and the government will "uphold monitoring controls... to ensure legitimate use of import permits." According to our sources, "from living sources" means plastics scrap from residential sources, which is banned, but industrial plastics scrap may be exempt. Definitions remain unclear, but we continue to work to gain clarity for our members.

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