China: We will no longer accept your garbage
The import ban is part of China's campaign against foreign garbage, which the country says poses health issues for its citizens.
“We found that large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes are mixed in the solid waste that can be used as raw materials. This polluted China's environment seriously,” the country said in its WTO filing.
“To protect China's environmental interests and people's health, we urgently adjust the imported solid wastes list, and forbid the import of solid wastes that are highly polluted.”
Previously, China has routinely imported waste, particularly plastic, which is valued as a raw material. Last year, the country imported 7.3 million metric tons of waste plastic, valued at $3.7 billion and accounting for 56 percent of world imports, according to Reuters.
In addition to plastic, China will no longer accept imports of slag from steelmaking, waste wool, ash, cotton and yarn.
According to the filing, the proposed date the ban will enter force is September 2017. ■