Talk for Article "China refuses ‘foreign garbage,’ leaving waste mountains in West"

Talk about this Article

  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    After reading the article, I still do not know if China gave some notice of its plan to stop importing waste.
    Was it a surprise for western governments?
    Was it announced years ago an nothing was done about it?

    I think it would be interesting to know whether China is suddenly “being unreasonable”, or if western governments are even more irresponsible than we thought.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    The first link on the first paragraph seems to be broken (404 error) – at least for me.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I do not trust Greenpace as a source. The numbers they cite on the page you linked might be factual (or even underestimated), but I wish they would cite their own sources.

    Other than that, I disagree with Cheryl about the length of the article. It felt like the right ‘dosage’ for me. I guess this might be a matter of taste, but on important topics like this one, I’d rather read an ‘explainer’ (lengthier article) than a ‘brief’.

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      I agree 100% on Greenpeace as a source.

      Here’s another source, probably where Greenpeace got their soundbite:
      http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Thanks for the pointer Jimmy, appreciated.

  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    The article does not make clear (or emphasize) the difference between the regulations that came into effect January 1 and March 1. And it is confusing to talk about a ban and then about a quality standard.

    And this is too long, one cannot stay engaged with it–at least I could not.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Cheryl. I believe editor Peter Bale is making it a bit shorter so I hope this helps.

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    This becomes nonsensical–if the materials are now banned, why would they be imported and need to be burned? And explain the significance of imports being clean vs China’s waste not.

    Author of Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter, says a ban could actually add to China’s environmental problems. Writing in Bloomberg he explained that imported recyclables are cleaner than China’s, and banning them will force many Chinese recyclers to shut down, meaning the 7 million tons of plastic and 29 million tons of paper China imports annually being burned or dumped.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Cheryl. I think you may have confused two things. China is not importing banned materials then burning them as far as I’m aware. Adam Minter argued that the ban would lead to Chinese recyclers shutting down and burning their own materials. Also, some other recycling experts separately argued the ban would result in their own material, that they would have sent to china where it would have been recycled pre ban, being incinerated elsewhere.

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Re-reading this has made me understand it; however, I was as confused as Cheryl. Indeed, I quit reading the article because it struck me as self-contradictory.
        I suggest you break Adam Mintner’s argument into two or three sentences.

  6. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Numbers should be reported in the same style within a sentence or paragraph, so this should be changed by someone who knows the facts:
    ,…it took 55 percent of the UK’s exported recovered plastics in 2016 (WRAP). In recent years it’s taken nearly half of America’s exported plastic waste, and one-third of the European Union’s…

    55%
    half
    one-third

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Cheryl. I think the reason me and subsequent editors decided on varying the style was to make it less repetitive and because remembering whether various statistics were a third or half is easier than remembering some stats were 36%, 54% etc

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        It has been established by the brain researchers that it is easier for readers to process the information if numbers are expressed in the same formats. It is not about remembering or memory; it is about the initial processing of the numbers for understanding and comparison.

        Varying the style is a literary approach that does not apply to information sharing.

  7. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I think it will take a big change in society to really fix this problem.

    So many products are now effectively disposable, instead of being something you might buy once or twice in a lifetime. I don’t just mean carrier bags, but items such as furniture.

    Of course, things that last also need some repairs and maintenance, and for that you need a lot of people with hands-on skills. Today, it can be quite a job to find someone who can repair something.

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