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Revision to China’s Solid Waste Law

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by Lisa Dean, June 8th, 2020

Lisa is the Head of Global Compliance in Thinkstep's global EPR compliance division and has over 7 years experience as a Compliance Consultant.


An amendment to China’s Solid Waste Law was approved on 29 April 2020 by the National People’s Congress (NPC). The amended law will take effect on 1 September 2020.

Solid Waste Law

The Solid Waste Law was originally adopted on 30 October 1995. The Solid Waste Law covers the prevention and control of pollution from industrial waste, household waste, construction waste, agricultural waste, and hazardous waste.

Revisions

There are several changes under the revised Solid Waste Law. With regards to product stewardship, several product-related programs to further the development of Chinese circular economy policies and regulations are introduced. Revisions include:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – The amendment requires the government to establish an extended producer responsibility system for electrical and electronic products, lead storage batteries, and automotive power batteries. Producers of covered products will be required to establish a recycling system for used products that matches the sales volume of the products. Producers are also responsible for public awareness of the recycling systems they set up. 
  • Products and Packaging - The amendment states that producers should ensure that the design and manufacture of products and packaging should meet the national regulations on cleaner production. Producers should also limit excessive packaging of commodities and avoid excessive packaging. Manufacturers, sellers and importers of products and packaging that are included in the compulsory recycling catalogue should recycle the products and packaging in accordance with relevant state regulations.  
  • Single Use Plastics - The production, sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags and other disposable plastic products will be prohibited or restricted. Retailers, e-commerce platform enterprises, express delivery enterprises, and fast food enterprises will be required to report the use and recycling of single-use plastic products to the authorities. Further, the hospitality industry will be prohibited from proactively providing single-use supplies.

What could this mean for you?

Producers may find that products previously considered to be out of scope will now be included under the revised Solid Waste Law. If your products fall under the mandatory recycling catalogue, you will be required to finance the collection and recycling of end of life products. The amended law indicates that this can be done either individually or via a third party. Non-degradable plastic bags and other single-use plastic products will be restricted or banned and therefore producers should look to alternatives.

How can we help?

EC4P offers a global WEEE, Batteries and Packaging update service tailored specifically to your company. The updates, issued quarterly or bi-annually, provide an overview of regulatory changes along with a summary of whether any of these changes are applicable to your company. EC4P will also advise you of any action you need to take in order to remain compliant and protect your sales across the world. For more information on this service, please contact us.     

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