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China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) finalized a quality standard of 0.5 percent for certain imported recyclables on Jan. 11, failing to properly consider the negative effects on global recycling efforts, according to the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

“SWANA is disappointed the Chinese government did not modify its waste import restrictions in response to the serious concerns raised by North American, European and Asian governmental authorities and associations,” David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, says. “We support the MEP’s efforts to improve the environment in China, but these extraordinary restrictions are already adversely impacting recycling programs throughout North America.”

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