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After The Implementation Of The Junk Ban, Where Will The British And American Plastics And Other Wastes Go?

Mar 13, 2018

In 2017, China issued the “Implementation Plan for the Prohibition of the Entry of Foreign Garbage into China to Promote the Management of Imports of Solid Waste”. The program stipulates that from January 1, 2018, China prohibits the import of waste plastics, paper, waste slag, etc. from Western countries. "Garbage," of which the United Kingdom and the United States are major foreign countries importing garbage. Today, the plan has been implemented for more than two months. How are the recycling progress of plastic waste in the United States and the United States? What measures will they take to deal with these wastes?

Problem Description

United States:

As the previous garbage had always been exported to China, the corresponding garbage recycling infrastructure in the United States was not very adequate. After the implementation of China’s “junk ban”, the US’s plastic waste lost its maximum processing direction, piles of plastic garbage and other garbage. Together, they are occupying various garbage collection stations in a tidal wave, and the United States' local waste handling capacity and re-recycling capacity are not enough to cope with the huge “rubbish dump”.

United Kingdom:

According to incomplete statistics, 55% of plastic waste in the UK is exported to China every year. After China implemented the ban, the British people also panicked. Because the British people and the Americans, dealing with those plastic waste is not enough. According to statistics, in the year 2012 alone, Britain exported 2.7 million tons of plastic waste to China! Since then, the amount of waste that Britain has exported to China has been increasing. This has made British people feel that “there is no garbage, and the whole society seems to be more environmentally friendly” . After the ban was imposed, plastic waste in the UK's garbage collection plant has also piled up.

problem solved

Although China has implemented a garbage ban, plastic waste from the United Kingdom and the United States can no longer flow to China. However, the two countries will not sit idly by seeing garbage piled up in their own countries. For example, in the face of these wastes, the United Kingdom is actively looking for alternatives to China's refuse exports "recuperate", and is also actively calling for a reduction in the use of plastic products. In a speech on environmental issues issued by the British Prime Minister in February, the United Kingdom hopes to completely eliminate the use of disposable plastics in 2024.

In the face of China’s ban, Britain and the United States are actively formulating policies to thoroughly solve the problem of plastic waste. However, before the successful development of relevant technologies and the introduction of policies, the United Kingdom and the United States are still looking for alternatives to China’s waste exports in waste disposal such as plastics. "Mainly, then there is no big market for China. Where will the plastic waste from the United States and the United States go?

Southeast Asia:

In the direction of exporting plastic waste, Southeast Asian countries have assumed a certain percentage. Because plastic waste has huge economic benefits, although it will cause damage to the environment, due to the low level of economic development in Southeast Asian countries, people are more likely to pursue higher economic benefits. It can be foreseen that countries in Southeast Asia will play an important role in the export of plastic waste in the United Kingdom and the United States. More and more important roles. However, because of the weak industrial base in Southeast Asian countries and the inability of industrial manufacturing, it is difficult for Southeast Asian countries to replace China and become the main export direction of plastic waste.


After the Chinese ban was implemented, Japanese sources said that although China banned the import of plastic waste, the Chinese market still exists and there is still a huge demand for plastic materials. In addition, Japan has advanced technologies in the field of recycled plastics. Some Japanese companies may have already undergone technological upgrading. In the face of rising plastic prices, the plastic recycling market may undergo tremendous changes.

Nordic countries:

The three Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland) have more advanced waste recycling and processing technologies around the world. According to statistics, 36% of garbage in Sweden is recycled, 14% of waste is used as fertilizer, and 49% of waste is burned as energy. In Scandinavia, which produces only 150 million tons of garbage each year, their waste treatment plants can process 700 million tons of garbage each year, and the waste gap is as much as 500 million tons. In the three countries of Scandinavia, plastic waste is either recycled or used as an energy source. Compared to other countries, plastic waste is a good destination.

The United Kingdom and the United States export their garbage abroad to reduce the impact of plastic waste on their home country. This can only be a matter of urgency and cannot fundamentally solve the problem. In order to fundamentally solve the problem of plastic waste, the state must adopt advanced technologies to recycle plastics and other wastes, or use degradable and non-polluting environmentally friendly materials so as to prevent plastic pollution. The implementation of new Chinese standards may be a new opportunity for countries that export waste to other regions, allowing them to treat waste recycling more seriously. For example, the United States may require legislation to require manufacturers to recycle their own garbage.