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China’s Solid Waste Law to come into effect in 2021

China’s upcoming ban on solid waste imports is set to be made law. The Bureau of International Recycling suggests that an amendment to the ‘Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Solid Wastes Pollution to the Environment’ will provide further clarification to the waste import ban. Wiser Environment concurs that the ban is likely to impact waste management costs and logistics, and industry managers should stay informed.


The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) – has reported that China will officially ban the import of solid waste from 2021. Using their source within the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China, BIR suggest that China will put its import ban into law with an amendment to the ‘Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Solid Wastes Pollution to the Environment’.

Wiser Environment Meeting with Vietnam Industry Leaders

Wiser Environment meeting with Vietnam industry leaders in the Thái Nguyên Province.

BIR expects further legislative clarification to come in by September 2020. Hopefully, this will provide guidance on the solid waste identification process and alternative measures.

Since 2017, China has continually voiced its intentions to reduce the import of foreign waste. In response, UK waste exporters have had to readjust supply chains and find alternative channels. Wiser Environment understands that waste exporters are diverting their shipment to nearby Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam; supporting Vietnam’s growing demand for recyclable materials.

The UK Environment Bill is also putting pressure on waste exporters. This is because the Environment Bill introduces new restrictions to exporting plastic waste to countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED). At this time, the UK Public Bill Committee is examining the details of the Environment Bill. The Committee is set to release their next update in September. Wiser Environment expects that the Environment Bill will encourage the development of UK waste management facilities and this will help satiate the need to export.

Stay updated

China’s Solid Waste Law compounds the already increasing cost and complexity of waste management. Therefore, Wiser Environment believes that it is important that industry managers stay informed. The team at Wiser has extensive experience in waste legislation and supply chain management and is ready to provide waste businesses with support. For more information contact Wiser Environment or call on 01480 462232.