Customs make record illegal waste haul as sweeping ban kicks in

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/5 18:43:39

More than 1,400 tons of imported solid waste have been seized by customs authorities in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, amid the country's wide-ranging ban on imports of solid waste by the end of the year.

Based on confirmation from professional solid waste certification institutions, the solid imports, labeled "zinc ore," were actually forbidden solid waste imports, according to the Xiamen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, China News Service reported Sunday.

It is the largest amount of illegal solid waste to be seized in the country, the report said. 

According to the report, an unnamed import and export company in Xiamen declared to local customs that it was importing 1,415.5 tons of zinc ore on August 10. During the inspection, customs officers noticed that the products appeared to be brown mud with a high water content, which is not a characteristic of zinc ore. Further investigations showed the products to be smelting slag, a solid waste that has been banned from import by the Chinese government.

Customs and Entry-Exit Inspection officials said that although the smelting slag could be used for recycling, it contains poisonous and harmful elements. During the production process, the contaminants will pollute water and soil.

China is stepping up its fight against pollution and environmental degradation. A reform plan to improve the management of solid waste imports was adopted in April. In July, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said that China would ban the imports of 24 kinds of solid waste by the end of 2017, including highly polluting waste such as waste plastics, vanadium slag, unsorted waste paper and textile waste.


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