Li Ganjie, the Chinese minister of environmental protection, announced that imports of solid waste decreased by 12 percent in 2017 during a press conference. The decrease is in response to China’s National Sword Policy, which was enacted in 2017.
During the press conference, Ganjie also discussed the decades leading up to the import ban and what caused the Chinese government to enact the contamination standards. The decrease in Chinese imports has come alongside a sharp increase in imports for several Southeast Asian countries.
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Li Ganjie, China’s minister of environmental protection, said imports of solid waste, which is usually understood to refer to scrap and waste materials, dropped by 12 percent in 2017. He offered the figure during a March 17 press conference held in conjunction with the 13th National People’s Congress.
It’s the latest figure charting the global scrap movement shift away from China. It follows data released in January that shows Southeast Asian countries have boosted their imports in response.
In addition to quantifying the drop, Li provided a government perspective of how the country got to the point of banning certain scrap imports.
“China’s importing of solid waste started from the 1980s,” Li said through a CCTV translator. “At the beginning, the volume was not too large.”