On December 31, 2017, China announced a ban on the import of most plastic waste from other countries. Just under 6 months later, the first results of this policy are already showing in countries that used to export their trash to China, with plastic piling up. And the problem could get much worse, as it is predicted that by 2030, 111 million tons of plastic waste could end up being dumped in landfills and oceans due to lack of infrastructure to recycle it.
China used to collect plastic waste from the US, european countries and, generally speaking, from all across the globe. Recycling the plastic and re-selling it at a later date was a profitable business until recently, as the quality of the plastic received dropped drastically. Combined with the fact that China is now focusing on recycling the plastic waste from its own nation, the country decided to ban imports of most plastics at the end of last year.
This measure left nations that relied on China to take their plastic waste drowning in their own trash. Read the full story here.