THE TALE OF CHINA’S BAN ON SCRAP MATERIALS.
Since the 1980s, China has imported secondary raw materials and even became the largest importer of recyclables from all over the world. But on April 19, 2018, the Chinese government through their Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) announced the ban on 32 types of scrap materials categorised as “solid waste” or “category 7” as well as a higher standard of quality to be imposed on all remaining scrap imports. This category of materials include motors, wire, cable, stainless steel scrap, wood pellets, saw dust, wastes of tungsten, titanium, zirconium etc. While the ban on such materials was announced on April 19, it takes effect from Dec 1 2019; the stricter quality standards already took effect from March 1, 2018.
These actions were not pulled out from nowhere; the government of China in 2017 had taken series of actions in line with the phasing out of such imports in order to stem environmental concerns whilst replacing the imports with domestic resources before the end of 2019. According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Washington, this ban will impact more than 676,000 metric tons of US scrap exports to China worth $278 million in its first year alone. This has raised concerns as to its effect on the global supply chain of energy-saving, environmentally friendly scrap commodities which will be replaced by an increase in virgin materials from China.
What is your take on this? Do you think this ban holds major positive growth curves for the entire world or just China? In what way(s) do you think this ban can breed negative impact? What lessons can Nigeria learn from China as regards our policies on importation? Share your thoughts in the comment section!