Plastic in China: A Short History of a Crisis



90% of the world’s plastic pollution can be attributed to just ten rivers, eight of them in Asia and three of those in China. Like other Asian countries, China has an immense waste management problem: according to the World Bank, China produces 200 million tonnes of garbage a year and shortcomings in waste management in inland China result in large-scale river and ocean pollution. The Yangtze River alone delivers an annual 1.6 million tons of plastic waste into the ocean. Landfill sites are overflowing and there is popular opposition both to incineration and to the many waste-to-energy plants China is building. We examine the causes of China and Asia’s plastics problem and what is being done to tackle it.


China Plastic waste Waste management 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ChinadialogueLondonUK

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