The Chinese government’s effort to reduce its dependence on imported scrap materials has resulted in a 56 percent drop in scrap imports in the first half of 2018 compared to the first six months of 2017.
According to an online item from Xinhua, a Chinese government news bureau, China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) has reported that imports of plastic, paper, and metal scrap totaled 9.98 million metric tons in the first half of 2018. That figure is down 56.3 percent from the same period in 2017, according to Xinhua and the GACC.
Monthly figures show the trend could yet reverse slightly, according to Xinhua. In June 2018, scrap imports stood at 1.52 million metric tons, up 10.1 percent from the 1.38 million metric tons recorded in May.
The Xinhua article, reflecting Chinese government terminology throughout the past three or four years, refers to the imports as “solid waste” throughout the write-up, and says China has been importing an abundance of the material “despite its weak capacity in garbage disposal.”
Although the July 14 Xinhua article refers to “foreign waste [posing] a threat to the environment and public health,” it does include a seemingly new reference to an exception for “those [inbound shipments] containing resources that are not substitutable.”