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Analysis of China’s ban over plastic waste import

2019-05-23 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- Analysis of Chinas ban over plastic waste import,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了中国禁止塑料垃圾进口的原因。中国一直是废物回收利用的主要进口国,但其中塑料垃圾的回收也伴随着一些问题。因为进口塑料垃圾的程序有时会出错,导致中国公众对这一政策的意义产生怀疑。特别是在进口的塑料等固体废弃物中发现了大量的有害、污染物质,对中国环境造成了严重的负面影响。这意味着,中国政府的进口活动有可能无法达到减少环境影响的目的。所以中国禁止塑料垃圾进口,并且希望增加国内收集的塑料垃圾的使用,以更好地保护中国人民的健康和环境。

over plastic waste,中国禁止塑料垃圾进口,essay代写,作业代写,代写

Introduction

The focus of this report is the reason for the rejection of China to import plastic wastes from the US. The economic basis and the sustainability basis are both discussed regarding the activities that are related to rejection and export. The report would first of all address the disadvantages and advantages associated with the recycling of plastic wastes from both the economic and sustainability perspective in detail. After that, the report can evaluate the potential impact and aftermath that the ban of China to import plastic wastes can have on the sustainability of global environment. Alternatives are also proposed and recommended as a strategy for other countries to cope with the ban of China.

Figure 1 the waste import of China

Source: The Economist, 2017, Chen, 2017

China has been a major importer of wastes for recycling purpose. For example, China imports around 50% of the scrap copper and waste. It imports 45 million tonnes of solid wastes, as seen in figure 1 above. Therefore, China’s major import of global plastic wastes benefit developed countries like the US which are eager exporters of waste plastics in the past years. On the other hand, China also benefits greatly from the heavy reliance on the imported wastes for recycling purposes as the China produces and manufacturers currently the largest amount of plastic made products. As recycled plastics and other wastes are usually cheaper in costs to be used as raw material for production, importing plastics and other wastes from China means that the Chinese manufacturing industry can benefit substantially from the deal. Therefore, China’s importing of plastics is actually a win-win game for both China and the rest of the world from the economic perspective. In addition, from the sustainability perspective, recycling plastics significantly reduces the negative impact that industrial production has on the natural environment. For example, the pollutants that are generated in the process of producing plastics can be significantly reduced by recycled use of plastics from such import projects. However, under a recently proposed ban of such imports, such benefits would be lost for both China and exporters of plastic wastes like the US.

The recycling of wastes: advantages and disadvantages

The recycling of wastes such as copper and plastics are in general beneficial to the global environment as the recycled use of plastics reduce the pollutants and consumption of energy required to produce new plastics that are necessary for the manufacturing of new goods. For example, a main raw material to produce plastic is synthetic resin, which is produced using crude oil. Therefore, enabling the recycling of plastics for the manufacturing industry can reduce the volume of newly produced plastics. This reduces the global consumption of crude oil.

Figure 1 below shows the split of consumption of plastics by different industries across the globe. The figure shows that most plastics are produced for and used by the manufacturing of commodities. In addition, engineering sector also requires the second greatest demand over plastics. Therefore, it is naturally understandable that the production of plastics can incur huge environmental burden across the globe, due to great consumption of fossil fuels such as crude oil and natural gas, and consumption of energy to support the production process.

Figure 1 consumption of plastics by industry

Source: Pardos Marketing, 2017

It is believed that recycling of plastic wastes can reduce the negative environmental impact that the vast use of plastics and related products will have on the global environment (Al-Salem et al., 2010). For example, plastics can cause longstanding damage to the quality of land, which might become not arable due to plastic rubbish buried underground (Lazarevic, 2010). In addition, plastic wastes can also cause huge problems of water pollution (Rochman et al., 2013). That is why recycling of plastic wastes can help ease the burden of dealing with the wastes this extensively used material that cannot be easily degraded by nature. Figure 2 below shows that the net export of plastics contributes to an industry worth $18 billion in 2012. Additionally, the energy that is used to produce plastic resin continues to decline from 2002 onward as the US exports more and more plastic resin to other countries, including China. This figure clearly indicates the advantages and benefits that export of plastics can have on the sustainability of the globe. In particular, growth of export of plastics to other countries in the US is accompanied with lower energy that is consumed as a result of plastic resin production and manufacturing. Therefore, by exporting a significant portion of plastics to other countries, the energy required to produce new plastics can be vastly saved. This would benefit the sustainability goal of the globe positively. 

Figure 1 the plastic industry: consumption of raw plastics

Source: EIA, 2017

Nevertheless, it should be noticed that recycling of plastic wastes is also accompanied with major problems. For example, the procedures to import plastic wastes can go awry occasionally, causing doubt over the meaning of such policy among Chinese public. In particular, large amount of material that was hazardous and dirty were found in the imported solid waste such as plastics, which had resulted in significant negative impact on the environment of China (Prisco, 2017). This means import activities of the Chinese government can be at risk of failing its purpose of reducing environmental impact. That explains the Chinese government’s desire and determination to reform the ways that solid waste imports are managed currently. In specific, the Chinese government wishes to increase the use of plastic wastes that are domestically collected in order to better protect the health of the Chinese people and the environment (Resource Recycling, 2017).

Economic and sustainability impact and aftermath of the waste ban

There is heated debate and controversy over the recent Chinese policy of banning import of plastic wastes. In specific, it is believed by some that the ban can actually, quite against will of the Chinese government, increase environmental pollution. In specific, critics of the policy points out that plastic wastes that are imported from foreign countries such as the US tend to be much better organized and classified. In comparison, Chinese counterparts are not so competitive at the moment in offering well classified plastic wastes for industry use (Goldstein, 2017). As a result, seeking alternative method to use more domestically produced plastic wastes can do more harm than good to the environment of China. In fact, most plastic waste in China is currently not well classified and cannot be directly used for recycling purpose. Classifying domestic plastic wastes can incur huge costs on the manufacturing of plastics from waste materials. In effect, a significant portion of this domestic-collected plastics would have to be incinerated or buried in landfills that can cause significant environmental aftermath in the long term.

What’s more, taking a global perspective, it can be discovered that the impact on the environment cannot be reduced by banning the use of recycled plastics. Particularly, one aftermath of the ban of imported plastic wastes is the growth of China’s demand over imported plastic products, as a result of the policy ban to curb recycled supply of plastic wastes (Peng, 2017). The substantial increase of demand over imported plastics can be expected due to the consequence of China’s fight against environmental pollution and its political and economic efforts to restructure its economy by modernizing its manufacturing industry (Peng, 2017). Banning the import of plastic wastes is considered as a constituent to such a fundamental policy direction for the Chinese government. Nevertheless, the truth is the demand over plastic wastes and plastics could not be reduced significantly within a short period of time without shutting down many businesses in the industry and thereby significantly impacting the Chinese economy negatively, according to The Economist (2017). For example, a total ban of recycled plastic wastes, it is expected that the petrochemical exporters to China and producers in other countries, including Thailand, South Korea, the Middle East and Singapore, would receive significantly more orders for plastic related products including polyethylene, which is a thermoplastic material for nearly all plastic products that are used both in industrial production and people’s daily life (Achilias et al., 2007).

In addition, the negative impact on the economy of China by the ban of plastic imports should not be ignored. In particular, it is believed that many Chinese businesses and waste recyclers would have to shut down as a result of the ban on plastic waste import. The underlying reason is that these Chinese waste recyclers cannot find proper replacement of suppliers for plastic wastes that are used to recycle and produce plastic products once again. Using more domestically collected plastic wastes means higher costs which increases the risk of failure for Chinese recyclers.

Alternatives for China’s ban of plastic waste import

Despite the doubt over its implementation, alternatives must be sought for recyclers of plastic wastes if China were in effect to implement this policy in the future. In particular, it can be recommended for recyclers to transfer to other alternative countries for buyers of their plastic wastes. This means taking initiative in developing dependable relationship with potential clients and importers of plastic wastes in other countries in order to avoid suffering the loss of the plastic import ban to be implemented by China. As a response to the so-called Green Fence, another name for the proposed ban, recyclers can focus on improving their quality by better sorting of polypropylene out of mixed bales. This can significantly improve the curbside streams of their products and increase their competitiveness in the global recycling industry. In addition, another direction for effort is for recyclers to focus on reducing the contamination involved in the recycled solid wastes to improve their ability to cater to other clients.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the report discovers that the negative impact arising from the policy ban of imported solid wastes including plastic wastes will have more negative impact than its positive benefits to both the economy and sustainability of the globe. The advantages from plastic waste recycling has been well analyzed in this report, including reducing negative impact on the natural environment and reducing costs of producing vastly demanded plastics from scratch, which is much more costly compared with recycling plastic wastes. Additionally, the negative factors might include potential procedural problems in the recycling industry, such as smuggling of other materials in the name of plastic waste export and potential hazardous materials contained in the wastes. In addition, the difficulty to classify the plastic wastes to be recycled is also a significant issue. Nevertheless, the report concludes that a total ban of plastic wastes import would definitely do more harm than good to the Chinese economy and sustainability goals. For example, banning import of plastic wastes means production of more plastic products, indicating higher demand and consumption of raw materials for plastic production, including crude oil and natural gas. This requires more energy and thus increase the environmental burden on the globe. In addition, many Chinese recyclers have to shut down as a result of the ban since they cannot find proper replacement for imported plastic wastes. These negative impact arising from the policy ban of plastic wastes import explains the existence of doubts and criticism over the implementation of this policy. In addition, China banning plastic wastes import might also pose negative influence on the effort of the country to turn away from this harmful materials used in people’s daily life, as Chinese plastic makers discover new sources that can be used to produce cheap plastic products from recycled materials in huge volume. Therefore, they might be reluctant to invest in new technologies that could reduce the negative impact of plastic use. 

Reference

Achilias, D. S., Roupakias, C., Megalokonomos, P., Lappas, A. A., & Antonakou, Ε. V. (2007). Chemical recycling of plastic wastes made from polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Journal of Hazardous Materials, 149(3), 536-542.

Al-Salem, S. M., Lettieri, P., & Baeyens, J. (2009). Recycling and recovery routes of plastic solid waste (PSW): A review. Waste management, 29(10), 2625-2643.

Chen, Z. (2017) China to Tap Brakes on Waste Imports, Caixin, https://www.caixinglobal.com/2017-07-20/101119539.html.

EIA (2017) Global demand, inexpensive natural gas are increasing domestic plastic production, EIA, https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=14891.

Goldstein, J. (2017). A Pyrrhic Victory? The Limits to the Successful Crackdown on Informal-Sector Plastics Recycling in Wenan County, China. Modern China, 43(1), 3-35.

Lazarevic, D., Aoustin, E., Buclet, N., & Brandt, N. (2010). Plastic waste management in the context of a European recycling society: comparing results and uncertainties in a life cycle perspective. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 55(2), 246-259.

Prisco, J. (2017) China to U.S.: Please stop sending us your junk, CNN Money, http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/11/news/china-scrap-ban-us-recycling/index.html.

Peng, L. (2017) China's plastic demand to rise as foreign garbage ban to curb recycled supply, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-plastics-demand/chinas-plastic-demand-to-rise-as-foreign-garbage-ban-to-curb-recycled-supply-idUSKCN1BO0J8.

Pardos Marketing (2017) World plastics consumption long term, 1960-2020, Pardos Marketing, http://www.pardos-marketing.com/hot04.htm.

Resource  Recycling (2017) WM and other plastic exporters react to China’s ban, Resource  Recycling, https://resource-recycling.com/plastics/2017/07/26/wm-plastic-exporters-react-chinas-ban/.

Rochman, C. M., Browne, M. A., Halpern, B. S., Hentschel, B. T., Hoh, E., Karapanagioti, H. K., ... & Thompson, R. C. (2013). Policy: Classify plastic waste as hazardous. Nature, 494(7436), 169-171.

The Economist (2017) China tries to keep foreign rubbish out, The Economist, https://www.economist.com/news/china/21725815-how-new-rule-could-wallop-recycling-industry-china-tries-keep-foreign-rubbish-out.

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