China to enforce regulations on e-waste recycling

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Offenders of China's new regulations on waste electronic equipment could face fines up to 500,000 yuan (75,450 U.S. dollar), after it becomes effective on Saturday.

The regulations could be regarded as the country's latest effort to promote comprehensive utilization of resources and environmentally friendly economy, Wan Bentai, chief engineer of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said Tuesday.

The ministry has introduced a set of supplementary guidelines for the implementation, which, for example, specify rules and procedures regarding issues including recyclers' qualification and governmental subsidies to e-waste recycling initiatives, Wan said.

Recyclers which engage in e-waste recycling business without certificates could face fines ranging from 50,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan, according to the regulation.

Wan estimated that nearly 30 million units of televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and computers were discarded in China each year.

Those e-wastes, sometimes simply burned or soaked in strong acid, had severely polluted the environment in many locations in the past, said Wan.

He believed that the new regulation made "remarkable progress" in environmental protection by extending manufacturers' responsibility into the post-use recycling of their products.

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