Soon we won’t be able to ship our recycling to China — and that’s a problem

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

It’s no secret that China, the top global importer of numerous recyclable materials, has accepted everyone else’s garbage with open arms for decades. The United States — along with a slew of other developed nations — sends China our recyclable trash and, in turn, China transforms foreign garbage into consumer products and packaging and sends it back our way…

This tidy reciprocal relationship, however, is coming to an end.

In July, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection told the World Trade Organization that it would no longer accept imports of 24 common types of once-permitted solid waste due to contamination concerns. The ban extends to various recyclables including several plastics such as PET and PVC, certain textiles and mixed waste paper. Easier-to-recycle metals are not included in the new restrictions.

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