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Environment & Energy Report

China Signals Permanent End to Taking Most Recyclables from U.S.

April 30, 2020, 4:17 PM

China wants to make permanent its halt to taking bottles, cans, and cardboard from the U.S. and other countries, which has thrown recycling supply chains into disarray, the country’s top lawmakers indicated.

China will “gradually realize zero imports of solid waste,” the National People’s Congress Standing Committee said in a statement on Wednesday, after approving changes to the country’s Solid Waste Law that take effect Sept. 1.

Since mid-2017, China has increasingly restricted imports of plastic, paper, electronics, scrap metals, and other recycled waste materials to curb its own pollution problems.

Those restrictions caused major issues for municipalities and recycling...

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