Chinese public now legally required to recycle


New laws now require the Chinese public to recycle their waste.

From 1 January 2015, China’s revised Environmental Protection Law says citizens “should adopt a low-carbon and frugal lifestyle and perform environmental protection duties” and to “observe environmental laws and make their own efforts in this regard, including sorting their garbage for recycling”.


This effectively builds on China’s Circular Economy Promotion Law that became law from 1 January 2009 and encouraged the public and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle to develop a circular economy.

Experts on Chinese recycling will be at Secondary Commodity Markets 2015 – the conference for buyers and sellers of recyclable materials – on 3 March 2015 in London. Find out more here

The revised Environmental Protection Law is also likely to see smaller, polluting mills and recycling facilities shut down or forced to improve.

Previously, polluters were given a small 10,000 yuan annual fine and many would pay this at the beginning of the year before carrying on as before.

But now daily fines have been introduced and owners can be sent to jail. Environmental groups are also allowed to take legal action against polluters and seek damages for the first time.