China has imported just 6.69 million tonnes of solid waste in 2020 so far

China Blue Sky 2020 second round
Chinese Customs officials organising the second round of Blue Sky 2020 enforcement

The Chinese Customs Department has revealed that just 6.69 million tonnes of solid waste has been imported into the country from January to October this year.

This is down 42.7% compared to 13.48 million tonnes of solid waste imports in 2019, and much lower than the 22.63 million tonnes imported in 2018.


The news was revealed as part of a second round of Blue Sky 2020 targeted operations that saw 425,000 tonnes of mostly waste slag and scrap metal captured and 61 smuggling suspects arrested.

But it also announced that it will now take an even tougher stance ahead of the expected ban on imports of solid waste at the end of this year making “the prohibition of foreign garbage entry the top priority of customs work”.

Measures that will be implemented in the coming weeks will include:

  • Strengthening of the regulatory defence line of ‘source control, port blockage and domestic investigation’
  • Use of global ship monitoring and early warning systems, plus port freight vehicle monitoring will be increased
  • Full inspections of material for relevant enterprises will continue
  • There will be a particular focus on waste slag smuggling methods.

Interestingly, the General Administration of Customs also said that it will “issue an announcement in conjunction with relevant ministries and commissions to prohibit the import of solid waste in any way, and resolutely complete the goal of achieving zero solid waste imports by the end of this year”.

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