Renewable Matter # 21 / May-June

The Plastic Route no Longer Leads East

by Giorgia Marino

Focus on Plastic


Beijing imposes restrictions on the import of recyclable waste by changing the rules of the game, both for Chinese industry and for the global waste disposal and recycling system, especially with regards to plastic waste. If on the one hand the world will have to speed up the transition towards a circular economy, on the other the plastic routes are already changing, heading towards alternative markets.


A little girl plays among heaps of packaging and plastic waste coming from every corner of the world. She “fishes” for dead fish in a polluted stream, whilst sheep graze on bubblewrap in the fields. She lights a fire with bits of nylon, cooks her supper and then goes to sleep in her room, which is covered with candy wrappings and American stickers she collected from the...

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