BEIJING — China has shipped a batch of smuggled solid waste back to the Republic of Korea, where it originated, according to General Administration of Customs (GAC).
Disguised with fake documents, the 243.7-ton batch of waste was seized on Aug 13, 2018 by Shantou Customs in South China’s Guangdong province.
The customs has handled 78 cases of smuggling foreign waste since 2017, cracking down on 80 smuggling gangs, the GAC said.
China began importing solid waste as a source of raw materials in the 1980s and for years has been the world’s largest importer, despite its weak capacity in garbage disposal. Some companies illegally bring foreign garbage into the country for profit, posing a threat to the environment and public health.
Given rising public awareness and a green development drive, the government decided last year to phase out and completely halt such imports by the end of 2019, except for those containing resources that are not substitutable.