China's ban on imported waste expanded to more products

China is actively seeking to dump its "world's 'trash can' or 'recycle bin'" status as it seeks to expand the coverage of it's ban on waste sent into the country, policy's the govenment says are in line with a new push to protect the environment.

According to a study in the journal Science Advances, 72 percent of global plastic
waste have ended up up in China and Hong Kong. More than half of the scrap materials exported by the US last year.

Local media Xinhua agency reports that the new regulations -expanded from 24 banned products to 32- include hardware, ships, auto parts, stainless steel waste and scrap, titanium and wood.

It is set to go into effect from December 31, Xinhua says, citing four Chinese government agencies.

China's moves to reduces the volume of imported waste has created worldwide problems as recyclers were cut off from their main market for waste material.

This has resulted in a sharp fall in the volume of trash it purchases from the US, resulting in large piles of waste in Elkridge, Maryland, with no destination.

China also have in place more stringent policies on the quality of waste China will allow across its border, equally damaging for recyclers.

These policies include a contamination level of 0.5 for products such as cardboard and metal -an extremely low threshold that most company's will fail to meet with current technology and sorting sorting techniques.

The country's plastic export is expected to fall from 7.4 million tonnes in 2016 to 1.5 million tonnes in 2018, while paper exports might tumble nearly a quarter, according to a researcher.

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