For several years, China was buying the world’s trash and was recycling it. However, they decided to stop the process last year. The new China’s National Sword Policy forbids to bring several types of plastic scrap in the country. This leaves an open question that where all of the plastic is going to end up. A new study done on the subject gave the idea of the scale of the problem. The new policy means that the rest of the world will be required to find a way to deal with an additional 122 million tons of trash by the year 2030.
China used to import around 45% of the world’s plastic trash since 1992 when they began the program. The US exported nearly 4000 shipping containers full of plastic to China every single day. The US and other countries who produce a lot of plastic will be required to find alternate ways to deal with their plastic trash.
The extra plastic waste is being thrown in the landfills however it is one of the worst ways to deal with the problem. The world should start building industrial recycling facilities in the few years just like China was building in the past decades. It has still not been figured out how long it will take for the countries to build such facilities. Another option is that the US and other countries do nothing which means that their plastic waste ends up in the landfills and oceans, which will make the situation much worse than it is presently.