Dear MEL Topic Readers,
China trash ban is a global recycling wake up call
If only 9% of all plastic materials are recycled, where does the rest go? Incinerators, landfills, or the environment. Of the plastic materials being recycled, most of them are low-grade, hard or expensive to be recycled. No one wants it, so countries like the US, UK, and Japan have been exporting such plastic wastes with other wastes like paper and steel to China, where recycling of such wastes had been economically justified. But the costs to recycle such wastes have been rising economically and environmentally. So, China no longer accepts such low-grade wastes from other countries. Bad news for those waste exporting countries and communities. They need come up with places to dump them or ideas to reduce wastes, especially environmentally hazardous plastic materials. One of the effective and practical ways is to ban the use of single-use plastic products, such as straws, bags, and packages. They can be more easily replaced by more reusable, bio-degradable materials like paper or cotton.
Though it’s bad news for a short term, it seems like a good opportunity to save the environment.
Enjoy reading and think what you can do to reduce wastes.