US states banned from exporting their trash to China are drowning in plastic – QuartzPosted on October 3, 2013 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
For every ton of reusable plastic, China has received many more tons of random trash, some of it toxic. That has helped build “trash mountains” so high they sometimes bury people alive (link in Chinese). For a country facing environmental crisis after environmental crisis, this is no longer tenable.
A country should not be allowed to exports it trash to another. If you make the mess you should deal with it. However, is one countries trash another’s treasure? It is a debate you will get different answers to depending on what your role in the chain is. If you were a plastic bottle maker, then you certainly don’t want to see plastic mounds of bottle lying around as the public would be put off by this ugly pollution. If you are a plastics recycler, then maybe you do want all this plastic collected for recycling.
China needs to be congratulated for putting some cleaning and quality restraints on accepting plastic waste. They are not the dumping ground of the West. The West has to set its own quality standards of what they export rather than considering it as dumping of their waste, then figure out how to deal with their waste. For too long irresponsible manufacturers have had free reign on what they produce with no responsibility of the disposal of their products. This needs to change if we are going to manage out own trash at home.