Green China – why the rest of the world needs to follow suit

China is going green, now is the time for other countries to do the same. Photo credit – Pixabay

Green China – why the rest of the world needs to follow suit

In January, new environmental policies made it much more difficult to other countries to export their waste to China.

The green initiative, part of President Xi Jinping’s ‘beautiful China’ initiative, banned the import of many types of waste and enhanced the quality of the materials that could still be processed.

As China transitions into becoming one of the leading green economies in the world, clearly it’s not so attractive to process waste on behalf of other countries.

That’s because, whilst recycling is in itself a desirable goal, the processes involved can actually create quite a lot of pollution.

Once the new rules came into effect, reports began emerging about ‘waste mountains’ in countries such as the UK, which had previously exported a large proportion of their ‘recycling’ to China.

This should have been the catalyst for such countries to embark on their own green policies when it comes to recycling. Exporting a problem overseas isn’t a solution – it simply makes it someone else’s problem.

Unfortunately, the latest news suggests that waste exporters are looking for other countries in which to legally dump their waste, rather than genuine domestic solutions.

‘Beautiful China’ could lead to a more beautiful world if other countries follow suit. If not, then the rest of the world risks missing a golden opportunity.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid