China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday that it would stop accepting shipments of rubbish such as waste plastic and paper as part of a campaign against “foreign garbage.” The import ban, which will enter into force by the end of 2017, will also cover slag from steelmaking, and many kinds of waste wool, ash, cotton and yarn, Reuters reports. “We found that large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes are mixed in the solid waste that can be used as raw materials. This polluted China’s environment seriously,” China’s WTO filing said. China is a major importer of waste. Last year it imported 7.3 million tonnes of waste plastics, valued at $3.7 billion, accounting for 56% of world imports. Apart from Hong Kong, the biggest sources of that plastic waste were Japan and the United States, which accounted for roughly 10% of the volume each.
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