China to exclude some scrap metals from waste import ban

Some forms of steel, copper, nickel, aluminium, zinc and tin to be omitted from ban on rubbish entering the country for recycling

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 4:18pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 9:04pm

China said on Thursday it would still allow imports of some kinds of steel and non-ferrous scrap as the world’s largest commodities consumer outlined the first concrete details of its plan to curb waste imports as part of its war on pollution.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection published a list of banned waste imports that excluded some scrap metals – such as steel, copper, nickel, aluminium, zinc and tin – from the restrictions.

The ministry listed steel, copper and aluminium scrap from cars, ships and electronic devices under the “limited import” category. It did not clarify what limited means.

Mining waste containing non-ferrous metals, though, will be banned from imports as China has sufficient domestic resources, the ministry said.

China – the world’s top scrap metals importer – notified the World Trade Organisation last month that it would stop accepting imports of waste, including paper and textiles.

China bans ‘loathsome’ foreign garbage

The domestic metals industry had worried the ban would also include steel and copper scrap, crucial raw materials used by mills and fabricators.

Items that will be completely prohibited from imports include tyres, textiles, plastic, glass and old medicines, as disclosed in a filing to the WTO.

The environment ministry said the import ban would take effect as early as the end of this year