Turning rubbish into treasure:
Chinese model of circular economy.
After surpassing Japan in 2011, Chineseeconomy became second to the United States with future prospects of being second to none.
Nevertheless, China hasalready been listed before the US
in 2004the country
was named the world’s
largest contaminator and generator of waste.
Ending is better than mending.
The title was largely a result of a moreaffluent population, copying a newlyattainable Western lifestyle. It seems that a
slogan from Huxley’s novel
Ending is better than mending
has replaced old Chinesetradition of saving and being thrifty. Due to
blind devotion in high consumption
andthe pursuit of fast economic development to
Chinese “Brave New World” many heavily
polluting industries aggravated the severeenvironmental problems such as air andwater pollution as well as excessive miningof mineral resources and energy.The push for green in China isa practical discussion on health and wealth.There is no need to emphasize futureconsequences when
people already see,eat and breathe pollution every day.
Scrap collectors work at a plastic recyclingmill in Wuhan, China.
Today the population in China has reached
1,3 billion, 22% of the world’s total. Over
the past three decades economic growth,industrialization and urbanization have ledto
multiplication of the quantity of MSW
(municipal solid waste): while the averagepopulation growth was 4,4%, wasteamounts grew by an average 6,5% perannum.
Although 256 kg of MSW perperson a year in China is still acomparatively small number whileconsidering the 524 kg EU average,approximately 660 cities in China generatein total 154 million tons or 7,5% of globalannual amount of MSW.
The landfillcapacity in China has reached more than6 billion tons, occupying 0,5 m
of landand causing
of soilunderground and water. What is more,
(Green House Gas), composed mostly of
generated through the biologicaldegradation of organic matter in Chineseopen landfills poses
a serious global risk
is estimated to have a 21 timesgreater impact on global warming than CO
Money is lying on the landfill.
The experts estimate that up to 40% of therubbish could be recycled. The utilization of waste paper, glass, plastics and metal seemsto be
a profitable business
China’s solid wastes which are useable but
not yet used have a resource value up to $30billion.
A great example of the fact that recycling may be a key to success is
, the founder of Nine Dragons, a papertrading company in Hong Kong, who saw asolution to China's thirst for containerboard.
Wastepaper is like a forest. Paper recyclesitself, generation after generation
said oncethe queen of trash, named by Forbes thewealthiest woman in China, whose personalwealth is estimated at $1.5 billion.