|Chinese woman collecting plastic bottles from filthy river|
- Recycling activities in residential areas;
- Using recycled plastic to make ultrathin bags (shopping bags less than 0.025mm thick and other bags less than 0.015mm in thickness) that have been banned since 2007;
- Using recycled plastic to make food-contact bags;
- Handling of hazardous waste (with chemical residues, pesticide or disposable medical packaging) without special operating license;
- Processing activities without sufficient water treatment facilities, such as granulation of woven bags, washing of plated scrap, stripping of plating or coating, etc.;
- Improper handling of waste from the recycling process;
- Outdoor incineration of plastic scrap and waste from the recycling process.
- Importing unwashed, post-consumer scrap;
- Transferring imported waste to a company other than what is allowed by the import license, including sending the materials to vendors for washing services;
- Selling unwashed leftover plastic materials after sorting and processing imported plastic scrap;
- Selling unwashed leftover plastic materials after sorting and processing imported scrap paper.
Something else to sink in: Industrial regulation in China rarely meets international standards. It's rife with corruption -- with sewage plants that only operate the one day a government official comes by, for example. Plastic recycling centers that never bothered to buy the government-required sanitation equipment. So it's great that finally there are some rules in place. Is there any real belief that they will be enforced?
We buy stuff from China because it's cheap. It's cheap because we send over countless tons of our used plastic to a nation that has so far been incapable of effectively or honestly overseeing how that material gets re-used.
Change the game.