BREAKING NEWS Ole Miss football pauses team activities until next week Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

China refuses to recycle more of the world's trash

China just threw another curveball at the global recycling industry.The Chinese government says it's extending...

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 12:30 PM
Updated: Apr 20, 2018 12:30 PM

China just threw another curveball at the global recycling industry.

The Chinese government says it's extending last year's ban on imports of items such as unsorted paper and some plastics to dozens more types of recyclable materials, including steel waste, used auto parts and old ships.

For decades, other countries shipped containers full of scrap and waste to China for recycling. But Beijing stunned the recycling industry last year with its ban on imports of 24 varieties of solid waste.

Now, it's adding 32 more types to the list -- half of them at the end of this year, and the other half at the end of 2019.

Related: China to the United States: Stop sending us your junk

China has billed the ban as a way to reduce environmental damage, but some experts say it could make it worse.

"The new restrictions, just like the old restrictions, are poorly considered measures that will worsen the global environment and China's competitiveness," said Adam Minter, author of "Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade."

The measures, announced Thursday, create a new headache for countries that depend on China to recycle their waste. They're still struggling to adjust to the ban announced in 2017 and will need years to expand their own facilities, Minter said.

Burying waste instead

The restrictions have reportedly led to recycling waste piling up in developed countries with nowhere to send it.

Earlier this week, a city in the Australian state of Queensland said it would start burying its recyclable waste in landfill because of the spiraling costs contractors were demanding to deal with it.

The restrictions have also caused environmental problems in inside China by depriving manufacturers of recycled materials they need to meet demand. That means they have to buy new paper pulp and plastic resins, increasing the environmental toll of their operations, according to Minter.

Ban could hurt consumers

The latest measures could cut Chinese manufacturers off from a cheap source of metals like nickel.

"That move will raise manufacturing costs in China and will be passed along to consumers," Minter added.

China has been importing billions of dollars of foreign trash every year, so the companies that rely on the trade are now having to adapt to the new rules.

Related: Startup devours pollution with new plastic recycling method

The US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries said the measures announced this week will impact about $400 million of scrap exports from the United States to China.

"We remain concerned about the effect these policies have on the global supply chain of environmentally-friendly, energy-saving scrap commodities," the institute's president, Robin Wiener, said in a statement.

Chinese firms that used to import plastic waste from developed countries have now started investing in recycling operations in the United States, Minter said.

-- Nanlin Fang contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 47°
Columbus
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 39°
Oxford
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 38°
Starkville
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 42°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather