Dalian customs in Northeast China sent 23.7 tons of solid waste back to where it came from. (Photo: CCTV)
Dalian customs in Northeast China sent 23.7 tons of solid waste back to where it came from recently and has repatriated more than 3,700 tons of "foreign garbage" since January this year.
Containers of overseas waste were seized at Dalian port several days ago. Two containers were found to be full of e-waste, with a fake claim of carrying "electronic components." The toxic and hazardous materials it contains could cause serious damage to the environment.
Dalian customs will track the whole process of waste being shipped to make sure it goes back to where it originated from.
Under "Blue Sky 2019," a special campaign conducted by China customs against overseas garbage smuggling, Dalian has intercepted more than 5,000 tons of smuggled solid waste this year. In early November, Zhengzhou customs in Central China's Henan Province seized over 400 smuggled used phones and laptop touch screens imported from Australia. In August, 2.53 tons of smuggled powder particle waste was found in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province.
"Some regions still fail to regulate sectors along the profit chain, which allows illegal elements to take advantage," Niu Fengrui, director of the Institute of Urban Development and Environment Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
"The government should impose tougher punishments for illegal businesses, keeping a special eye on those in the coastal regions, where the business has persisted for a long time," he said.
China's foreign garbage ban took effect on January 1, 2018, which left garbage exporters in the West with a buildup of waste.
An official from the US urged China to cancel the ban at the WTO in March 2019, claiming it was a violation of WTO rules.
Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Monday's routine press conference that this ban is an implementation of China's sustainable development policy aimed at promoting environmental quality.
Hua said that the US should deal with the hazardous waste it produces.
Ever since China banned foreign garbage, Western exporters have targeted Southeast Asia as their new garbage takers. But in recent years, the Philippines and Malaysia have implemented tougher measures against the smuggling of overseas garbage.