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MEP holds a video conference on banning foreign wastes and promoting the institutional reform on solid waste importation

Li Ganjie stresses the importance to firmly foster the consciousness to maintain political integrity, think in terms of the big picture, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership and put the consciousness into action; resolutely implement the guiding principles of the major instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping; and unswervingly ban foreign wastes as a milestone measure taken to build ecological civilization. 

On Nov. 16, MEP held a video conference on banning foreign wastes and promoting the institutional reform on solid waste importation. Minister Li Ganjie presented and delivered remarks at the meeting.

The ban of foreign wastes is an important announcement of the Party to uplift ecological civilization in all aspects, an inherent requirement for meeting the ever-growing demand of the people for a beautiful ecological environment, and a focal point to foster green growth models and lifestyles, said Li. General Secretary Xi Jinping attaches great importance to this effort and demands to unswervingly press ahead with this institutional reform. In July, the General Office of the State Council published the Implementation Plan for Banning Foreign Solid Wastes and Promoting the Institutional Reform on Solid Waste Importation.

Since the said implementation plan was introduced, the Ministry has worked with local governments and departments, taken plural and targeted response measures as below and cut down the total imports of solid wastes, said Li.

First, we’ve monitored the waste importation closely and cracked down on illegal waste-related activities. We launched a month long inspection and canvassed 1,792 imported waste processors. Also, we worked with relevant departments and swept the solid waste distribution centers so that the foreign wastes had nowhere to hide. The law enforcement in the environmental protection, customs, and quarantine inspection sectors shared information and tightened the whole-process regulation over solid wastes.

Second, we’ve adopted a myriad of measures to reduce the amount of imported solid wastes. The granting of solid waste import permit has been more strict. For example, an incompliant company shall not apply for import of wastes within a year since the incompliance. The import permit shall be canceled if a company gained the permit by fraud or illegally transferred the permit.

Third, we’ve tightened the solid waste access control. Twenty-four subcategories of solid wastes in four categories, including the municipal waste plastics, unsorted waste paper, waste textile materials, and vanadium slags, are listed as wastes prohibited from import. Eleven standards are being amended on solid wastes imported as raw materials.

Fourth, we’ve properly addressed the risks. Scientists are invited to interpret the policies, and the concerns, comments and recommendations of other stakeholders are addressed.

Li called for the environmental protection branches across the country to implement the implementation plan to the letter. First, we should align our thoughts and awareness with the Central authorities. We will make sure the reform measures are effectively implemented, significantly cut down the import volume, and strive to overachieve the objectives set forth in the plan.

Second, we will further straighten out the solid waste distribution centers. We will enhance inter-departmental collaboration and shut down highly polluting, illegal recyclers.

Third, we will maintain a tough stance in enforcement. We will launch a campaign every year for three years since 2018 to crack down on the environmental violations across the imported waste processing industry. The Ministry is about to “review” the 2017 campaign before the end of this year, punish the incompliant companies severely and hold liable persons accountable.

Fourth, we will tighten the regulation over imported waste processors. In 2018, the waste import permits will be issued more discreetly and in a smaller amount. We will conduct rigid on-site inspection over applicant companies and forbid falsification. We will continue to strengthen environmental protection and make sure the processing of imported wastes do not pollute the environment or harm the human health.

Fifth, we will move forward with the reforms steadily. The environmental protection department will work closely with the people’s government of the same level and make plans for the transformation of the possibly affected areas and industries.

Sixth, we will work harder at awareness activities. We will disseminate and interpret the objectives, tasks, outlines, and significance of the implementation plan, and spread the achievements made by China in regulating solid waste import and cracking down on foreign waste trafficking. We will raise the public awareness on garbage classification and environment-friendly treatment of solid wastes and their use as resources.

Vice Minister Zhao Yingmin presided over the video conference. The directors general of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong provincial environmental protection departments shared experience.

Directors general of relevant internal departments and Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Center attended the conference at the main venue. The heads of provincial, prefectural, and county level EPDs (EPBs), as well as the officials in charge of solid wastes management at each level, and the heads of regional environmental inspection bureaus observed the event via the video conference system.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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