111 million tonnes of plastic waste will have nowhere to go by 2030 due to Chinese import ban: study

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Since 1992, China has imported 45 per cent of the world's plastic waste. But at the start of this year, the country shut the door on much of that plastic, leaving countries scrambling to fend for themselves.

Now a new study suggests there are deep repercussions to China's new policy: By the year 2030, an estimated 111 million tonnes of plastic waste will be "displaced" and have nowhere to go.

"We've seen reports of plastic waste and other types of waste that are impacted by the ban accumulating within these countries that have long been dependent on China," said Amy Brooks, lead author of the paper, published in Science Advances, and a PhD student at the University of Georgia.

"Now it means that waste can be landfilled, which is not good. It could be incinerated, or could potentially be sent off to other countries in the region that also don't necessarily have the waste management infrastructure."