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Time for the West to handle its trash [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-1-9 09:44:14 |Display all floors
(Global Times) Western countries were hit heavily at the start of the new year when China banned the import of 24 types of solid waste. They have long relied on exporting plastic recycling to China and have been lax about recycling domestic waste. Pictures show rubbish has built up in some of them.

China was once the biggest importer of solid waste, importing over two-thirds of the UK's plastic waste. Although recycling plastic waste for industrial manufacturing can save raw materials and boost employment, it also has an outstandingly negative impact on the environment and is often the focus of media attention. An overhaul of the business was essential.

China plans to fully stop importing solid waste that has domestic alternatives by the end of 2019. The irreversible trend will increase pressure on Western countries to handle their own trash.

No governments in other countries complained about China's move, but the truth is the West is nonetheless worried. These developed countries have been used to buying cheap products from developing countries like China and shipping the waste back, keeping themselves clean.

But this won't continue after China bans foreign waste imports. Western media are discussing the possibilities of replacing China with India or Vietnam for handling waste, but this plan won't necessarily work out.

China's rise has been well timed, with economies of scale. China has almost all the industries that can bring jobs and wealth. While China took in sizable foreign waste under certain conditions, this can hardly be copied by other countries.

It is imperative for developed Western countries to handle waste locally, a logical step toward a more balanced global economy. The era of developed countries exporting brands and technologies, with a higher standard of living, while developing countries grow on cheap labor and suffer pollution, will be over.

This is not a nationalistic argument, but a natural development of human society. All nations should actively adapt to such change.

Fully industrialized Western countries have enough technology and capital for better waste disposal and recycling. Cities like London and Hamburg can take the lead in developing new environmental protection technology and standards.

Exporting waste to developing countries leads to serious pollution as it is processed with low technology. However as people lead better lives, they produce more waste. Developed countries should take the lead, followed by the developing countries, in improving waste disposal.

China has imported masses of waste from abroad in recent years, delaying the eruption of a serious problem. Now when China starts banning waste imports, we have to face this challenge squarely.

The Earth cannot become a planet with great piles of accumulating rubbish. Human society must recycle as much as possible. Let's start today.

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Post time 2018-1-9 09:44:46 |Display all floors

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Post time 2018-1-9 13:57:49 |Display all floors
The Earth cannot become a planet with great piles of accumulating rubbish. Human society must recycle as much as possible. Let's start today.

China must also play a part in this recycle business. Not many people are conscious of the problem and do not bother to recycle waste properly. The local government must put more effort to ensure that people recycle properly down to the village level even the household. Education about recycling should be done through the website and television. Announcements should be made at shopping malls at regular intervals. It has to be a nation wide effort to encourage proper recycling of waste.

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Post time 2018-1-9 16:13:28 |Display all floors
How many times does the so-called "Global Times" rag pontificate on the same topic?

Yes, it is a long-overdue thing for China to stop buying rubbish abroad. Producing waste is always problematic for a variety of reasons: it obligates authorities to deal with waste created by their consumers and businesses. The best way to stem it is to reduce the production of waste as much as is possible. To do that, authorities need to rely on their citizens. It is citizens who have it in their hands to burden the rubbish treatment plants of a country with extra rubbish.

In this regard, China is less than a developing country: it is the most hopelessly backward nation that allows every person to pollute the environment with impunity. You will seldom see filthier sidewalks and streets than those in China. You will seldom see more polluted water courses than those in China. You will seldom breathe more dangerously toxic air than the air in China.

And to top this off, China allowed greedy businesspeople to go abroad and buy up waste there and ship it to China. who else has done such stupid things? I don't know of any other nation!

To ship rubbish from the West to China is a crime against the environment par excellence. What a waste to carry waste on board of diesel-guzzling cargo vessels half way around the world!

This has encouraged Europe to sell what it used to destroy or recycle. Europeans pay dearly to dispose of their household garbage, and rightly so. Why don't Chinese? And Europeans keep their sidewalks and streets clean of rubbish, why don't Chinese? European water courses are clean, why aren't China's? Europeans don't fancy plastic bags, why do Chinese?

Even so, Europe still produces rubbish, albeit much less per head than China does. Europeans dispose of rubbish as follows: a) recycling (but you cannot recycle everything); b) incinerate (adds pollution to the air); c) bury it in landfills (but that is creating a potential time bomb for future generations).

The only responsible solution is: limit the output of rubbish and deal with it locally!

China: when are you going to start? You could become a second-world country within twenty years, and perhaps a leading first-world country within 30 to 50 years. But right now you are a taillight!  

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Post time 2018-1-9 16:21:16 |Display all floors
huaqiao Post time: 2018-1-9 13:57
China must also play a part in this recycle business. Not many people are conscious of the problem ...


China is less than a third-world country in how it deals with any form of rubbish. Consider:

- Nowhere do consumers return used batteries to a shop for safe recycling. Used batteries are full
  of heavy metals which contaminate the soil if thrown into landfills;
- Chinese avariciously collect plastic bags and discard them as if they were paper tissues. These
   plastic bags and wrappers are pure poison for the environment. Chinese use up more of them
   than anyone else.
- Chinese households throw their rubbish out in the open, not in dedicated bins. Everyone carries
  it down to the ground floor and throws it into open plastic containers that collect rain as well. This
  is the ost unsanitary way of dealing with mixed rubbish including organic matter. No wonder all
  Chinese towns are breeding grounds of cockroaches and mice or rats.
- Chinese people discard rubbish on public space and expect street sweepers to clean up after them.
- Chinese don't pay tax or any special rubbish collection and treatment charges, so they don't feel
  any personal motive to help keep the public space and environment clean. They should have to pay for
  every bag of rubbish thrown into a public waste bin.
- They don't separate the waste according to organic matter, paper and carton, bottles, metals, plastics.

It's like the infamous Chinese loos - a stinking, filthy and health-threatening mess.

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Post time 2018-1-9 16:22:55 |Display all floors

Ah, strictly verified posts make it to the thread, others get filtered out... It's too nationalistic a topic to engage in an honest discussion!

(Two posts in the filter as I post this one).

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Post time 2018-1-10 16:27:48 |Display all floors

Time for China (and others in Asia) to become responsible for the deleterious effects their economic development causes the world:

Ocean Conservancy, a US-based environmental group, reported in 2016 that China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam contribute as much as 60% of all the plastic that enters the world’s oceans. In these countries, only 40% of garbage is properly collected and sent to landfills, the same advocacy group said.
Nearly 200 nations signed a United Nations resolution in December to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea, a move that could pave the way to a binding global treaty. The UNEP predicts at current rates there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

(Excerpt from Asia Times, 9 January, 2018)

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