The goods on the shelves of supermarkets in various countries are almost inseparable from plastic packaging. Day after day, thousands of tons of plastic are produced, discarded, and sold as garbage to developing countries for disposal. Nowadays, Southeast Asian countries that have received a total of Western plastic waste for many years have realized that they can't afford the high price and start to say "no".
A year ago, the Guara Lengyue County, Malaysia, closed 34 illegal factories and cut off the supply of water and electricity. The main business of these factories was the recycling of “foreign garbage”. Plastic waste from countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Japan is placed here, some of which are recycled into plastic balls for the manufacture of other plastic products. Other plastics that are not suitable for recycling are burned, releasing toxic gases or entering landfills, contaminating the soil and water.
With the global waste treatment industry chain gradually being subverted, how can Western countries, which have long been used to pushing plastic waste overseas, out of the garbage dilemma? How do those garbage receiving countries completely get rid of junk dependence?
The difficulty in recycling plastic waste is that, first of all, the amount of recycling is too large, so that the ability of recycling can not keep up with the speed of production; secondly, the plastic waste that is shipped to developing countries is difficult to identify and classify, resulting in high cost of cleaning and recycling; Developing countries do not have a standardized recycling network system. Individual recycling plants account for the majority. They will screen out the huge garbage piles for their useful parts, and the rest will be abandoned again.
According to a report published by the World Bank, only 10% of the waste that developed countries export to low-income countries is actually recycled. 90% were burned or abandoned in illegal landfills, causing environmental pollution. At the same time, they also created infectious disease sources, causing lung diseases or animal and plant deaths among local residents.
In 2016, China imported 56% of the world's plastic waste. However, after the "foreign garbage" ban was promulgated in 2018, the world's largest garbage import market ceased to exist and the recycling system was stagnant. According to the report of Science Progress, due to China's ban, the amount of plastic waste “nowhere to place” will reach 122 million tons by 2030.
The United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea and other countries began to turn their eyes to Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia. A recent Greenpeace report found that in the first seven months of 2018, US plastic waste exports to Malaysia more than doubled from the previous year. Thailand’s US garbage received in 2018 is also three times more than in the previous year.
How to change the waste to value?
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The first goal of plastic packaging waste disposal is to recycle containers and the like as resources. In order to facilitate the recycling of various post-consumer plastic products, it is necessary to sort plastics of different colors and white to white. Red is red, blue is blue, and so on.
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