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China Bans Most Foreign Garbage
Kiwis need new ways to clean up as China closes dumps CCSS Level: Grade 9, Words: 492)
Jul 27, 2017 World News
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For more than 30 years, imports of recycled goods have fuelled China's manufacturing boom. On Wednesday, the government announced that it'd had enough. By the end of the year, it told the World Trade Organisation, it would stop accepting most recycled plastics, paper, textiles and metals, in total 24 kinds of waste from overseas. The decision, it said, was part of a campaign against "foreign garbage" that harms public health and the environment.

The recycling industry in New Zealand says it should spark a rethink on what we throw out. "This is not something that's going to happen overnight, it's not the wholesale closure of one market, but certainly it does start to make us think we are very reliant on one market and say, ''How do we stop producing this waste in the first place'," Waste Management Institute's Paul Evans said.

Some New Zealand companies send plastics to China to be recycled, but there aren't any figures on how much. They may now have to find other markets, or find a way to deal with it here - which costs money.

"In New Zealand, there is a challenge around scale in the products we create and also these products require significant investment," Mr Evans said. Waste management company Environ NZ is planning a plastics recycling plant for Canterbury and it says the Chinese decision could help its business case.

Others have a different opinion, with some commentators saying that this crackdown will actually worsen the situation - and will do so at the expense of jobs and economic growth around the world. China's government has long played up stories about foreign waste, partly to deflect attention from unmanageable trash problems at home. But it has also encouraged the import of scrap recyclables since the 1980s. Importing scrap plastics and paper is cheaper, quicker, and easier than drilling oil wells and cutting down trees. It's also cleaner: Recycling 1 ton of paper saves enough energy to power the average American home for six months, while using recycled material to produce plastic reduces the energy required by as much as 87 percent.

That's why nearly 180 million tonnes of recycle materials, worth $87 billion, were traded globally in 2015. Hay-bale-sized bundles of plastics recovered from U.S. recycling bins might look like "foreign garbage" to the untrained eye. But for savvy importers, they're as good as barrels of oil.

If the goal is to improve the environment and public health, the ban on foreign garbage is counterproductive said some experts. For all the problems with imported recyclables, those generated in China are far dirtier - which is why Chinese recyclers want to continue importing foreign garbage. Cut off the imports and many of them will shut down, while much of the 7 million metric tones of plastic and 29 million metric tons of paper that China imports annually will end up in dumps and incinerators in other countries. And that would really be a waste.

What may be the good side of China's ban on handling overseas trash?
making more money
cutting down fewer trees
better managing trash internally
find clean ways to produce energy
What is China's main worry that set off this campaign?
economic stagnation
waste land saturation
unemployed workers
environmental and public health
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real, in fact


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aid

help


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an-nounce

give information, make something public


v.宣布/公布

an-nounced

told everyone


v.公布

ash

the powdery residue left after the burning of a substance or emitted by a volcano


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notices taken of something


n.注意/关心

ban

officially not allow


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bar-rel

a large wooden container with metal hoops around it


n.桶

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an amount of oil equal to about 159 liters


n.桶

bil-lion

a very large number, equal to 10^9


No.十亿

boom

a period of great prosperity or rapid economic growth


n.繁荣

bus-i-ness

a group that supplies goods or services to buyers


n.商业

cam-paign

work in an active way to reach a goal


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chal-lenge

a call to take part in a contest


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com-men-ta-tor

a person who comments on events or on a text


n.评论员

com-men-tat-tors

a person who comments on events


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con-ti-nue

go on and on


v.继续

crack-down

the severe or stern enforcement of regulations, laws, etc.


n.挤压

cyc-ling

riding a bicycle


v.骑自行车

de-ci-sion

the act of deciding something, making a choice


n.决定

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not the same


adj.不同

e-ner-gy

strength needed to get stuff done


n.精力/能源

en-vi-ron-ment

place where something lives


n.环境

ex-perts

persons with great skill in some area


n.专家

fo-reign

from another country, strange or unusual

 


adj.国外

fu-el

material like oil or coal that is burned for heat


n.汽油

gar-bage

rubbish, trash, waste


n.垃圾

ge-ne-rate

to cause something to happen, to produce energy


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the ruling body of a nation, state or community


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brought in from another place or country


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in-dus-try

the making of goods or services


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an organization having a scientific, educational, or social purpose


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dealing with and controlling things or people


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man-u-fac-tu-ring

make (something) on a large scale using machinery


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mar-ket

to sell / an area of business, the place where things are sold


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the matter from which things can be made


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man made material such as pvc or nylon


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something that might be harmful, needing to be solved


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prob-lems

something not right, harmful


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things made for sale


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reign

hold royal office; rule as king or queen


v.在位

re-quire

need


v.要求

re-quired

needed


v.需要

scale

the size of something


n.规模

sig-nif-i-cant

important, standing out from the rest


adj.重大/有意义

tex-tile

cloth or woven fabric


纺织品

waste

use then throw away


v.浪费