This is going to be slightly different than a usual news story and more like a blog.
That is because the new Chinese Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes has been passed and will become law. However, the text hasn’t been published as yet, so I do not know the full details.
But I wanted to give you an update of what I do know.
Firstly, the 17th Meeting of the 13th National People’s Congress has been debating the solid waste law this week and approved the unpublished third draft of the law.
Secondly, President Xi Jinping has now issued Presidential Decree No.43 that enforces the law from 1 September 2020. This means it has now passed all stages of legislation and is law.
According to the limited information coming from the Chinese Government at present, the law continues to contain a clause that will lead to China gradually realising zero import of solid waste.
However, it also states that this is “clarified” so hopefully the legal text will itself clarify what this means.
Recently, China appears to have been reducing the import quota as part of its plan to reduce imports anyway.
Clauses appear to have been added on dealing with medical waste, due to the coronavirus situation, and this takes up much of the initial information published at present.
Previous drafts of the law focused on domestic waste management and this appears to be the case still. Plus, there will definitely be a ban on single-use packaging.
It also appears that there will be tougher fines and much more severe penalties for those who break the law.
I’ll keep checking for more information over the coming days, including the full text of the law, and will publish a more comprehensive story as soon as I have the information.