The State Council has approved an action plan to ban trash imports and reform the solid waste import management system to protect the environment and improve people’s health.
The circular set a target of comprehensively banning imports of solid waste that cause serious pollution by the end of 2017. Imports of solid waste that can be substituted by domestic resources would be gradually phased out by the end of 2019.
The catalog of imported solid waste should be adjusted before the end of July, while a ban on importing items such as waste plastics, unsorted scrap paper and discarded textile materials should be in place before the end of this year.
The circular suggests a gradual decrease in the types and quantity of imported solid waste, lifting the import threshold and improving related policies and mechanisms.
Also by the end of this year, the import licensing system for solid waste should be improved and import agents should be prohibited.
The circular urged the related ministries and departments to continue cracking down on smuggling of dangerous trash, medical waste, electronic waste and household garbage.
Efforts should be made to strengthen supervision, including investigating solid waste import application, reducing approvals of import licenses, and controlling the amount of waste. Special campaigns should be launched to overhaul the distributing centers for storing, disposing and utilizing solid waste.
The circular asked enterprises to take more responsibility and called for efforts to establish an international cooperation mechanism and to explore new methods of waste recycling.
The aim is to increase the amount of recycled domestic solid waste from 246 million metric tons in 2015 to 350 million tons by 2020.
Solid waste processing industries should be regulated and research and development of solid waste utilization should be strengthened, the circular stated.