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The First Anniversary of China's Foreign Garbage Ban, Southeast Asia Country Can not Suffer

Source:Iris Liang Time:2019-1-11 11:45:05

From January to July 2018, Malaysia imported 754,000 tons of plastic waste from the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe - about the weight of 100,000 elephants. Thailand and Vietnam are no exception. Economic development will inevitably bring pollution problems. Leading figures in various industries are actually pursuing a green road of “sustainable development”. In addition to policy factors, they are also responsible for the continuation of life on Earth. SEKO Machinery adheres to the concept of green environmental protection and develops intelligent and energy-saving bright solid solution equipment that is more efficient and energy-saving. The stainless steel tube produced by this equipment does not need pickling and is 20% more energy efficient than similar equipment.
In January 2018, China’s import of foreign garbage ban was officially started. The ban has caused the United States, Britain, Japan and other "big households" to export plastic waste to China by surprise. They have no exceptions to target Southeast Asia and let them "take over". As a result, the number of imported foreign garbage in Southeast Asian countries has surged in 2018.

What followed was a severe plastic waste management challenge. The reporter was informed in the interview that most Southeast Asian countries are facing tests because of the lack of garbage disposal and recycling capacity in the region. “Because of the lack of treatment technology and environmental protection, (foreign waste) has a direct impact on the local.” Monique Retamal, director of the University of Sydney's Sustainable Future Institute, told 21st Century Business Herald.

In this case, some countries are gradually alert. They are more concerned about environmental governance than they are from the economic benefits of foreign waste. On January 8, the relevant person in charge of the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) in the Philippines said that it will send back 6,500 tons of plastic waste shipped from South Korea in August 2018 to South Korea, which is also the Philippine government in recent months. For the second time, South Korea is required to recycle garbage.

Since the middle of 2018, Southeast Asian countries have gradually introduced restrictions on imported foreign garbage. The reporter learned in a comprehensive interview that countries tend to ban the import of foreign garbage; at the same time, improving their own waste disposal capacity and opening up a circular economy market will soon be put on the agenda.

Southeast Asian countries are "submerged" by garbage

In January 2018, China’s “foreign garbage ban” officially began to be implemented, and the wastes of “large households” of various garbage exports were immediately transferred to Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Retamal has been studying sustainable consumption goals in Southeast Asia. She told 21st Century Business Herald that Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand "have been inundated with (the plastic waste)."

In the face of the sudden influx of foreign garbage, Southeast Asia is a single receipt, because solid waste and plastic waste do have recycling economic value. “Some waste products can provide secondary raw materials for the production industry, which is the logic of circular economy and sustainable development,” said Arnaud Brunet, director of the International Recycling Bureau, in an interview with the 21st Century Business Herald.

But as time went by, the area was gradually overwhelmed. An important reason is that the level of solid waste management, waste treatment capacity and recycling in Southeast Asian countries is far from meeting international standards. "

After a year, Southeast Asian countries have not made much progress in this regard. In Malaysia, for example, Greenpeace's research shows that these foreign garbage is not recycled in Malaysia, but is allowed to rot, or landfill and incinerate. Greenpeace Malaysian public participation activist Heng Kiah Chun told 21st Century Business Herald that in 2018 Malaysian people reported illegal burning many times. Many rubbish was dumped in landfills and burned in the open air. "We did not receive the ban before the Chinese foreign garbage ban was implemented. A public burn complaint."

The ban was introduced but not enough
In this case, some countries are beginning to be alert. In May 2018, Vietnam temporarily banned the import of plastic waste. Since the implementation of the Chinese ban, the influx of plastic waste has caused the two ports in the country to be “overwhelmed”; in October 2018, Thailand announced that it would ban the import of plastic waste by 2021; Almost at the same time, the Malaysian government has also indicated that it will ban the import of all non-recyclable solid waste, ensuring that Malaysia will not become a “disposable dumping ground in developed countries.”

Countries themselves have begun to limit plasticity. In December 2018, Bali, Indonesia issued a plastic limit order prohibiting the use of disposable plastic products. The capital Jakarta also intends to follow suit.

However, in general, in the face of foreign garbage, Southeast Asian countries are still in the stage of shouting, and some restrictions are only temporary or fail to land.

Analysts believe that this wave of foreign garbage bans, which began to spread to China in Southeast Asia, can force large waste exporting countries and even all countries to reflect on reducing plastic use, improving plastic quality and recycling. Retamal told 21st Century Business Herald that if all countries in the future ban the import of waste, it will inevitably require each country to handle its own waste and develop a market for recycled materials. “Circular economy can create new jobs, new businesses and better health and the environment. Circular economy thinking will be a new driving force for economic growth in the next few years and even decades,” Ramakrishna said.

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Iris Liang
SEKO Machinery & Technology Co., Ltd
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