ENVIRONMENTChina Prohibits Plastic Wastes, Other Nations Follow

Maureen SantosMarch 20, 20191746 min

March of last year, China implemented the banning of imported foreign plastic wastes. Other nations are now doing their share to save the environment.

China has been the largest importer of plastic wastes. In 2016, it imported 45% of the global plastic wastes. The nation’s Ministry of Environmental Protection reported that the wastes came from Hong Kong. Other countries that largely contributed to the wastes include Belgium, Germany, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States. Adding to the list is Malaysia that receives 3 times the waste it used to and Vietnam’s import of plastic wastes that grew by 50%.

According to Wärtsilä Energy Solutions Regional Director Kari Punnonen, China has a huge problem with unsorted or contaminated imported plastic wastes that are difficult to recycle.

Other nations such as India has implemented a measure that’s aimed to seal the gap between waste production and recycling volume. It is targeting to free the country from all single-use plastics by the year 2020.

India produces almost 26,000 tons of plastic wastes on a daily basis. It is estimated that 40% of those stay uncollected because of insufficient recycling facilities in the country.

Some injunctions have already been employed which regulates plastic imports to businesses in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). However, certain companies were still allowed to source from overseas.

From January to July of last year, Malaysia had imported 456,000 tons of plastic wastes from its 10 biggest source countries. It surpassed the 316,600 tons for 2017 and 168,500 tons in 2016.  During this period, the total accumulation was equivalent to the weight of 100,000 large elephants.

In October, Malaysia declared its ban on importing plastic scrap. The country also kept factories that illegally handled such wastes under control. The region became the new dumping site after China had discontinued 24 kinds of plastic wastes from getting into its frontier in early January 2018. Residents that lived close to the plastic wastes recycling plants experienced itchy eyes and skin and respiratory conditions.

Heng Kiah Chun of Green Peace Malaysia campaigner exclaimed that the Malaysian plastic recycling industry became exhausted because of the ingress. The wastes cannot be sustainably accommodated and passable by the government’s own regulations.

Recycling procedures require plastic bottles with their caps on. During recycling, these bottles with caps on are grounded up and undergo water baths. Typically, caps are made up of polypropylene (PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These will float while the bottles will sink, providing easy sorting of many types of materials and recycling new items. Another advantage of keeping the caps on is, it can be recycled into storage bins, mixing bowls, plastic shovels, shipping containers, watering cans, and a lot more.

SC Johnson is a company which uses different kinds of plastic bottles for its packaging. It now seeks the capability of blockchain technology to recycle its own plastic wastes in Indonesia. Residents will be incentivized with cryptocurrencies that they can use to procure food and services.

This global conglomerate will be working in collaboration with leading environmental organizations to help minimize plastic wastes in oceans. The campaign already started in Indonesia and the company will be opening 8 more plastic collection sites across the country in the near future. Once the recycling program becomes successful, it will be extended to the neighboring Asian countries where the business has local branches.


Maureen Santos

She lets everyone become aware of what is happening to our beloved planet Earth and its inhabitants. She can take you beyond the space and find out how neighbor planets are doing. Moreover, she would open your eyes to the things what makes the Earth suffer including the living species and allow you to decide what you can do to help save the planet and the future generation.

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