Better waste transport services in Utah, New York and other US states just became more necessary, following China’s ban on importing plastic and paper waste.
Exported waste comprises roughly one-third of around 66 million tons of recycled waste every year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. For envirocareusa.com, the ban only indicated that there is now a huge gap requiring alternative waste management.
The immediate solution requires stockpiling waste or sending them to landfills, which would not be helpful to the environment. These measures contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.
China’s decision to stop accepting recycled waste may leave a bad taste in the mouth, but it can be construed as a wake-up call to improve recycling practices. Experts believe that the ban creates an opportunity for uniform labels on recycling bins.
One main reason why most Americans don’t recycle is the lack of simple information on where to dispose their garbage properly.
Others are betting that China may reverse the rule, but the country seems intent on its decision as it looks to ban more solid waste materials in the next two years.
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment said that wood waste, stainless steel and titanium scrap would be included under the prohibited imports.
The country will also enforce stricter regulations for accepting cardboard waste, which should not have more than a 0.5% contamination limit. Some types of contaminants are grease or liquid-proof lining, so it could be almost impossible to meet the contamination standard.
An improved recycling habit in the US may be a tall order, given that the country has relied on China for several years on accepting its garbage. On the bright side, it forces Americans to be responsible for their own waste and not depend on others to solve the waste problem.