As the most populous country in the world, China accounted for over 15 percent of the global municipal solid waste volume with 18 percent of global population, which is the biggest share in the world. On the other hand, as it is for many other parameters for China, the ranking shuffled totally when the unit would be switched to per capita. In terms of daily per capita municipal solid waste generation in the world, United states ranked top with 2.58 kilograms, followed by many other developed countries such as Canada and Australia.
Since 1990, the amount of disposed waste in China had surged over three-fold in just three decades. In addition to the domestically produced garbage, the economy of waste importing did not help with the dire situation of waste disposal for China. Despite an introduction of banning the 24 kinds of waste from other countries, China was receiving on average two million metric tons of solid waste each month in 2018, which was worth around 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. This year, Chinese government had announced a target of zero imported waste, which seemed to have lessened the pressure of waste management in the country.
In early 2019, an exceptionally tight obligatory waste recycling policy was introduced in Shanghai, being one of the pilot cities in waste recycling. Such habit was believed to take time for Chinese citizens to get used to, since the concept was still relatively novel in China. This policy will hopefully ease the stress on landfill sites in China, and help the country in easing the dire situation of waste management and the quality of environment in the country.
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Research lead covering environment and sustainability