An official with the State Environmental Protection
Administration (SEPA) of China on Tuesday said the SEPA is closely
monitoring British shipments of garbage to the country.
Lianjiao, a remote village in Foshan city, south China's
Guangdong province, was unknown to the world until it was fingered
for its trash business -- importing garbage from the UK.
Britain's Sky News TV recently screened a program titled "Are
you poisoning China?", revealing how UK plastic waste was ending up
Picking up on overseas reports, Chinese media have pointed out
that while China exports 16 billion pounds of commodities to the
United Kingdom each year, the UK sends back 1.9 million tons of
The SEPA official said Lianjiao village -- attached to the
Nanhai District industrial zone of Foshan City -- is a major
domestic plastic waste collecting and processing region that has
existed since the 1970s.
Lianjiao village processes 200,000 tons of plastic waste every
year -- 80 percent from other parts of China, but the rest imported
from other countries, sometimes suspiciously, the official
"Some banned types of plastic waste have been found in Lianjiao
village," said the official.
No company in Lianjiao Village has state approval to import
waste from other countries, according to the investigation by
The official said media had exposed illegal rubbish imports to
Lianjiao as early as September 2006. At that time, the Guangdong
Provincial Government urged the Foshan Municipal Government and
Guangdong Provincial Environmental Protection authorities to
investigate and deal with the case.
The local government has banned unlicensed enterprises and
individuals that engage in plastic waste business, suspended
plastic waste processing factories that are not equipped with
environmental protection facilities and seriously dealt with
enterprises which incinerate trash or illegally occupy public
venues to store waste.
The Chinese government bans the import of solid waste which
cannot be used as raw material. Imported solid waste which can be
used as raw material must be registered.
(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2007)