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Home Appliance Makers to Pay for Waste Recycling
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China is drawing a regulation to make producers of home appliances pay for reclamation of used products, industry insiders said Thursday.


Under the regulation being drafted, Chinese manufacturers of televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and computers will have to pay for product recycling, and consumers will not be allowed to dispose of those appliances at will, said Yin Fengfu with the Haier Group, China's leading home appliances maker.


China has at least 5 million televisions, 4 million refrigerators and 6 million washing machines discarded each year, which leaves a huge burden for environmental protection.


The draft Management Regulation on the Recycling and Disposal of Used Home Appliances and Electronics Products has provisions on mandatory reclamation of five popular home appliances including television, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner and computer, said Yin.


Large numbers of home appliances began to enter Chinese families in the 1980s. In 2003, China produced a total of 182 million units of televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and computers, and discarded 28 million units, both reaching an all-time high. When the regulation takes effect, home appliances manufacturers will have to reclaim used products or collect them for professional garbage disposers for recycling.


The regulation is being jointly drafted by officials with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Information Industry, the Ministry of Commerce and the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).


Liu Fuzhong, deputy director of the China Home Appliances Association, said home appliance franchisers should also bear some responsibility for the waste disposal, noting that big home appliance franchisers like Gome and Dazhong have yielded increasing profits while the average profit margin of producers decreased from 20-30 percent to 3-5 percent.


The NDRC, China's top economic planning agency, and the Ministry of Finance will establish a special fund to cover some of the manufacturers' recycling costs.


Huang Jianzhong, a senior official of the Ministry of Information Industry, said the drafters of the regulation have taken relevant requirements of the European Union as reference in order to guarantee that Chinese companies will not be squeezed out of the EU market due to the increase in recycling cost.


(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2006)


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