China reveals 81.1% decline in solid waste imports in 2020

Chinese mixed paper Japan
Chinese customs officials inspect illegal mixed paper from Japan

A Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment press conference has said that there was an 81.1% decline in solid waste imports between 2017 and 2020.

In 2017, China’s imported 42.27 million tonnes, but these imports dropped to just 8.79 million tonnes in 2020.


This was part of a sustained campaign from 2017 to bring down solid waste imports ahead of the eventual ban that came in from 1 January this year.

In 2018, there was a decline in solid waste imports to 22.63 million tonnes, then this fell further to 13.48 million tonnes in 2019.

Ministry of Ecology and Environment spokesman Lin Youbin said: “Since the State Council issued the Implementation Plan for Prohibiting the Entry of Foreign Garbage to Promote the Reform of the Solid Waste Import Management System in 2017, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, together with the General Administration of Customs and 14 inter-ministerial coordination group member units, has conscientiously implemented the spirit of the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping.

“The Party Central Committee and the State Council have made decisions and arrangements, and after more than three years of unremitting efforts, various reform tasks have been fully completed…

“…In the next step, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will work with relevant departments to consolidate the results of the reforms, continue to strengthen supervision, severely crack down on foreign garbage smuggling, vigorously improve the level of domestic solid waste recycling, and improve the long-term solid waste management mechanism.”

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