Workers check a load of imported leather scraps in Xiamen, Fujian province. (File photo: Xinhua)
BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Yantai customs in east China's Shandong Province has shipped back a batch of solid waste imported from overseas to where it originated, according to the General Administration of Customs.
Seized during inspection last year, the 152.6-tonnes of garbage consisted of lead sludge from recycled lead-acid batteries and slags produced in metal smelting, which are banned from import in China.
China began importing solid waste as a source of raw materials in the 1980s and for years has been the world's largest importer, despite its weak capacity in garbage disposal. Some companies have profited by illegally bringing foreign waste into the country, posing a threat to the environment and public health.
As part of its anti-pollution efforts, the government decided to phase out and halt such imports by the end of 2019, except for those containing resources that are not substitutable.