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IMO the many people who recycle metal, paper, plastic etc. in China deserve respect. The level of recycling here is extremely high. It could be improved still further. Organic waste could be collected, composted and used for habitat restoration in the Gobi desert and other degraded areas. Even human urine has a value which will increase over coming decades, as phosphate becomes more scarce.|
Goods and packaging should be designed to be safely recycled, burned, reused or composted after use, and some chemical additives banned. The health of these hard working people and the environment as a whole is suffering because manufacturers want to package goods in bright coloured wrapping, when they could easily use brown paper, cellulose etc.
It's not a free market if the people who make the waste push their external costs (pollution, waste disposal etc. on to the rest of society). If I steal or vandalise your car, I can be prosecuted for the cost of repairing it. No one says "it's a free market, so I can steal your car radio, or smash your windscreen if it suits my purpose". It should be the same for people who mix toxic chemicals into other people's air, soil and water. Polluters should pay.