How Is China’s Recycling Ban Affecting U.S. Cities?

Read the full story at Earth911.

Despite the perception among some that relations between the United States and China are unfriendly, these two powerful nations actually have a strong history of working together on key issues. For example, China is the world’s largest global importer of most types of recycling materials, importing more than 7.3 million metric tons of waste products from developed countries. Accordingly, it’s been a reliable external source to accept our recycled goods — especially those that aren’t easily recyclable.

Why is this the case? As a leading manufacturer on the international scene, and as a country with limited access to resources of its own, China needs those materials to keep its economy running — at least, it has until recently.

In July 2017, China announced a series of new restrictions on imported materials, including an outright ban on 24 different categories of recyclable materials to be phased out by the end of 2017. Now, seven months after the announcement, American cities big and small are starting to feel the effects of the ban.

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