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China to enforce new standards for foreign waste imports from March

Reuters Staff

11 Jan 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will enforce new standards governing imports of 11 types of foreign solid waste from Mar. 1, the ministry of environmental protection said on Thursday.

A driver steers a lorry laden with bags of plastic bottles across a recycling yard at the outskirts of Beijing, China, August 19, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The move, which follows China’s notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) last July that it would stop accepting shipments of rubbish in its campaign against “foreign garbage”, sets new thresholds for impurities in imports of waste such as smelt slag, scrap paper and scrap metal.

The impurity thresholds include 1 percent for non-ferrous metal and just 0.5 percent for paper, ferrous metals and waste electric motors, the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) said in November.

The BIR had proposed Mar. 1 as the date for the new standards to take effect.

In a statement on its official Wechat account, the ministry also said it would tighten control of radioactive contaminants in the imported waste.

Reporting by Tom Daly and Muyu Xu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Clarence Fernandez
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