After China has started to offshore many of the industries in an effort to lower pollution, they’ve also banned waste imports. New Zealand is now struggling to deal with recycling their own waste, as they can no longer send it to China’s recycling plants.
According to the statement from the associate environment minister on Thursday, New Zealand will start investing more in their recycling plants. They will set up a task force led by the government and try to work on dealing with the fallout from the ban of waste imports in China.
Every year until China banned the import of waste, New Zealand would send 15 million kilograms (33 million pounds) of waste to China. Most of the waste was paper and plastics, but now waste companies are diverting it to Southeast Asia.
China’s Ban Has Huge Impact on the Industry
Eugenie Sage, the Associate Minister for the Environment, stated that:
“The ban has had a greater impact than the industry expected and we need a coordinated response from central and local government, together with the waste and business sectors.”
She added that the government would use the existing waste levy and invest in onshore recycling plants.
China was the largest importer of plastic waste in the world. But as part of their campaign against “foreign garbage,” they no longer accept shipments of plastic and paper garbage.
The ban caused the world waste to get out of hand, and exporters struggled to find other buyers for the garbage. Sage added that they have also considered other options:
“We are also looking at options such as expanding the waste levy to more landfills, improving the data we have on waste including recyclables, and other tools to reduce the environment harm of products such as product stewardship, levies and bans.”
Governments in Australia, the EU and in the UK have announced that they plan to confront the growth of waste. The EU is mulling a plastic tax, and the UK is introducing a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere