BEIJING — China has moved to standardize its solid waste recycling industry, which, considered a burgeoning green sector, has on the contrary stoked environmental concerns due to reckless expansion.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection and other government agencies have launched a joint campaign targeting irregularities in the recovery of waste materials including electronics, tires, plastics, clothes and home appliances.
From August to the year end, the government will crack down on small workshops producing heavy pollution, improve the infrastructure in industrial cluster districts, and guide the sector’s healthy development.
While substandard firms will be shut down, legitimate recycling companies will be encouraged to accelerate business expansion by mergers and acquisitions.
The recycling industry is still lagging behind environmental demand with many firms too small and weak in pollution control, Qiu Qiwen, an MEP official said on Aug 17. Some areas have even become destinations for illegal and poisonous foreign garbage due to loose supervision.
Qiu expects the campaign to eliminate outdated capacity, improve recycling infrastructure and step up the sector’s transformation.
The combined revenue of the ten major recycled resources, including waste steel and paper, amounted to more than 590 billion yuan (nearly $90 billion) in 2016, up 14.7 percent from a year ago.