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洋垃圾|《经济学人》:中国终于禁止了部分洋垃圾入境

2017-08-05 从余启 我与我们的世界 我与我们的世界

欢迎打开“我与我们的世界”,从此,让我们一起“纵览世界之风云变幻、洞察社会之脉搏律动、感受个体之生活命运、挖掘自然之点滴奥妙”。

我与我们的世界,既是一个“奋斗”的世界,也是一个“思考”的世界。奋而不思则罔,思而不奋则殆。这个世界,你大,它就大;你小,它就小。

欢迎通过上方公众号名称打开公众号“查看历史信息”来挖掘往期文章,因为,每期都能让你“走近”不一样的世界、带给你不一样的精彩


本期导读:国务院办公厅近日印发《禁止洋垃圾入境推进固体废物进口管理制度改革实施方案》,要求全面禁止洋垃圾入境,完善进口固体废物管理制度。


“洋垃圾”是一个俗称,而非专业用语,特指以走私、夹带等方式进口国家禁止进口的固体废物或未经许可擅自进口属于限制进口的固体废物。据了解,每年非法进入中国的塑料垃圾主要来自美国、德国、法国、澳大利亚、韩国等多个国家。


许多进口固体废物质劣价低,以其为原料的再生资源加工利用企业不少为“散、乱、污”企业,污染治理能力低下,多数甚至没有污染治理设施,加工利用中的污染排放严重损害当地生态环境。洋垃圾携带的病毒、细菌等有毒有害物质可能直接感染从业人员。


目前进入中国的洋垃圾主要包括废矿渣、废催化剂、废轮胎、废电池、电子垃圾等工业废物,以及旧服装、建筑垃圾、生活垃圾、医疗垃圾和危险性废物等。这些洋垃圾经过层层包装,很多就堂而皇之地进入寻常百姓家。


Waste management

垃圾需要管理

Anti-dumping

反洋垃圾之战


The latest crackdown on foreign rubbish will disrupt the global garbage trade.

中国最近对洋垃圾的禁令,将会把全球的垃圾贸易彻底搞乱。


CHINA dominates international trade in many goods, but few more than waste for recycling. It sucked in more than half the world’s exports of scrap copper and waste paper in 2016, and half of its used plastic. All in all, China spent over $18bn on imports of rubbish last year. America, meanwhile, is an eager supplier. In 2016 nearly a quarter of America’s biggest exporters by volume were recyclers of paper, plastic or metal. Topping the list was America Chung Nam, a California-based supplier of waste paper which last year exported a whopping 333,900 containers, almost all of them to China.

国际贸易中的很多货物品类中,中国都鹤立鸡群,不过,没有哪个货物品类,比循环垃圾要来的更猛。2016年,中国进口的废铜、废纸占全球贸易总量的一半以上,而中国进口的废弃塑料,占比也有一半。总体来算,中国去年的垃圾进口金额超过180亿美元。而美国,则是一个极其积极的出口方。2016年,按货物贸易量算,美国最大的出口商中,有近四分之一做的是废纸、废弃塑料或废金属生意。其中,最大的一家就是位于美国加州的废纸贸易商美国中南公司,去年,该公司的出口量超过333900个集装箱,几乎所有这些都出口到了中国。



This may soon change. On July 18th China told the World Trade Organisation that by the end of the year, it will no longer accept imports of 24 categories of solid waste as part of a government campaign against yang laji or “foreign garbage”. The Ministry of Environmental Protection says restricting such imports will protect the environment and improve public health. But the proposed import ban will disrupt billions of dollars in trade. Recyclers worry that other categories of waste may soon receive the same treatment.

不过,这样的状况马上可能就会生变。7月18日,中国向世界贸易组织通报,到今年年末,针对24种固体垃圾,中国不再进口,这是中国针对解决洋垃圾问题的政策的一部分。中国环保部表示,限制进口这些洋垃圾,将有利于保护环境,改善公众健康。不过,中国的进口禁令,将会打乱成百上千亿美元的贸易。垃圾回收商们担心,其他品类的垃圾可能很快也会遭到同等待遇。


Imports of rubbish have helped feed China’s voracious appetite for raw materials. It is often cheaper to recycle scrap copper, iron and steel, as well as waste paper and plastic, than to make such materials from scratch, especially when commodity prices are high. So as commodity prices rose during the 2000s, the burgeoning trade in waste benefited both exporters, who made money from previously worthless trash, and importers, who gained access to a reliable stream of precious feedstock. Between 1995 and 2016 Chinese imports of waste grew tenfold, from 4.5m to 45m tonnes.

垃圾进口,极大地满足了中国对原材料的庞大需求胃口。对废铜、废铁、废钢,包括废纸、废弃塑料进行循环再利用,往往要比生产全新的,要便宜的多,特别是大宗商品价格处于高位时。因此,2000年后的几年间,随着大宗商品价格一路走高,垃圾贸易就得到蓬勃发展,这既有利于从之前没有价值的垃圾中赚钱的出口商,也有利于能获得可靠原材料供应源的进口商。1995至2006年间,中国的垃圾进口翻了十倍,从450万吨攀升至4500万吨。


But imports of recyclable waste are often dirty, poorly sorted or contaminated with hazardous substances such as lead or mercury. In 1996 factories in Xinjiang inadvertently imported more than 100 tonnes of radioactive metal from Kazakhstan. The following year an American businessman was convicted of smuggling over 200 tonnes of unsorted rubbish labelled as waste paper. Even when the intended material is imported, it is often recycled improperly. In 2002 the authorities faced widespread criticism after a documentary showed workers in Guangdong province crudely dismantling discarded electronic devices and dumping the toxic remains into a river. Officials may have been spurred into the latest restrictions by the release of Plastic China, an unflattering documentary about the plastic-recycling industry which was screened at Sundance, a grand American film festival, in January.

不过,进口的垃圾,通常会很脏,分类处理的不够好,也容易被诸如铅、汞等有毒物质的污染。1996年,新疆的几个工厂,无意间从哈萨克斯坦进口了100多吨放射性废金属。次年,美国一出口商因把200多吨为分类处理的垃圾掩盖为废纸出口而获罪。即使进口的垃圾有时是所需要的,循环处理时也经常会处理不当。2002年,针对广东出现电子器件回收问题与有毒物直接排入河流的一部纪录片,让政府当局遭到广泛批评。中国最近采取的行动,或许是受到一月份美国圣丹斯电影节上发布的有关塑料回收的纪录片《XXXX》的刺激。



The government had already been campaigning to block imports of illegal and low-quality waste under a crackdown called Operation Green Fence launched in 2013. Customs officials have ramped up inspections of scrap metal for circuit boards, plastic for syringes and other medical waste, and waste paper for plastic or wood. Since then, China’s imports of waste have fallen sharply (see chart).

2013年,中国通过实施一项名叫“绿篱”的专项行动,就已开始禁止非法劣质洋垃圾的进口。中国海关也加大了对线路板废金属、医用废弃塑料及其他医用废弃物、以及塑料废纸或木制废纸的检查力度。自那以后,中国的垃圾进口就疾速下滑(见图表)。



Whereas Green Fence was aimed at improving the quality of imported waste, the government’s latest move bans several types of waste outright, threatening some $5bn in trade. The Ministry of Environmental Protection says the ban will cut pollution. But most of the waste consumed by China’s recycling industry comes from domestic sources, not imports, notes Joshua Goldstein of the University of Southern California: “This is not really where the problem lies.” Indeed, recyclers who rely on imports may now switch to grubbier domestic stock.

不过,“绿篱”行动的目的,在于提高垃圾进口的质量,而中国最近的行动,却针对几种类型垃圾彻底实施进口禁令,这将影响约50亿美元的贸易量。中国环保部表示,该禁令将有力减少污染。不过,据南加州大学乔舒亚·戈德斯坦教授介绍,中国废物回收行业所消耗的大多垃圾,源于其国内,而非进口,“这并不是问题的真正所在。”不过,依靠进口垃圾的废物回收商们,现在或许需要转向国内那点儿货源了。


This is going to be very hard on our industry,” says Adina Renee Adler of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. As it is, Operation Green Fence has put lots of small recyclers out of business. Exporters will suffer too. Derek Kellenberg of the University of Montana says, “My suspicion is that the lower-quality stuff is more likely to end up in a landfill.”

废物循环工业研究所研究员艾迪娜·雷妮·艾德勒表示,“中国的禁令,对我们这个行业冲击将会非常大。”正如以往经验所示,中国的“绿篱”行动,已让大量小型回收商破产。出口商也同样会受到不利影响。蒙大纳大学德里克·凯伦博格教授表示,“我觉得,劣质的垃圾,很可能将会以填埋方式处理掉。”


往期精彩:


绿色中国|《经济学人》:有些污浊看得见,有些污浊看不见

旧文重发|《气候变化》:有没有美国都一样,地球都会照样转

存活之本|《经济学人》:海洋哺育了人类,人类却糟蹋了海洋

中国往事|《CNN》:南京长江大桥的故事,波澜又壮阔

新书速递|《经济学人》:中美之间,必有一战?

印度一瞥|《国际非政府组织报告》:童婚之毒,印度之痛

中印关系|《经济学人》:中印互为近邻,会否唇齿相依?

面具人生|《认识自己》:戴有多少副面具,就有多少个人生

诗图一家|《行与思》:内在心境,外在环境,总是变幻不定

人口问题|《经济学人》:人,一定要结婚,一定要要孩子?


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