Mainland China authorities issued edict after the State Council announced in July that it would cease imports of 24 types of waste, including unsorted scrap paper, as part of a environmental protection campaign.
As the world’s second largest economy and the most populous country, Mainland China demands massive amount of raw materials for production and consumption. In parallel to local collection, import of foreign recyclable wastes to China is proved to be more lucrative to China recyclers.
Recycling businesses has been blamed for causing serious environmental pollution, including contamination of underground water. This has prompted the State Council to launch a campaign against “foreign garbage”.
Under the new regulation of Mainland China, only processed waste paper can be imported, waste paper must be sorted into newspaper, cardboard and office paper in the first place, and the percentage of mixed waste paper should be capped below 0.3 percent.
Hong Kong is the major trading port of waste paper to China, Hong Kong is facing a logjam of crap since vast number of recycling plants in Guangdong fail to get import permits of the waste from Hong Kong, while the remaining plants are struggling to provide sufficient production capacity.
Hong Kong recycling firms are hit hard by the China stoppage, they have to cease the local waste collection, and let their employees to go on leaves, the stoppage push the price of waste paper down makes the collectors who are mostly jobless elderly people losing income.
Hong Kong government is lobbying with China authorities to offer some leeway to Hong Kong paper exporters, and believably are grant certain quota to shippers from the territory.
However, the waste crisis has not been blown over, as the special shipping quota will be used up someday. During that time being, Hong Kong government needs to establish a more sound recycling policy to obey the China new edict.
Hong Kong waste paper firms go on strike as new mainland rules threaten their survival – South China Morning Post-15 Sep 2017
Cardboard collectors struggle as prices fall amid strike by waste paper exporters – South China Morning Post-17 Sep 2017
Waste paper collection resumes in Hong Kong as firms call off strike early – South China Morning Post-18 Sep 2017
What Hong Kong can learn from the waste paper pile-up crisis – EJinsight.com – 19 Sep 2017