(Yicai Global) Sept. 14 -- The General Administration of Customs of China has begun its fourth collaborative investigation of the 'Blue Sky 2018' special operation against foreign waste smuggling early this morning. By 10.00 a.m. the probe had uncovered 0.59 million tons of used plastics, mineral waste, scrap metal and other imported refuse, bringing this year's total to 1.45 million tons.
The action has tracked down 37,000 tons of ozone layer-depleting substances, charcoal, endangered animals and plants and other environmentally harmful, resource-consuming and ecologically destructive smuggling goods. It amassed large quantities of evidence and distrained and froze large sums of illegal funds, GACC told China National Radio.
China's cabinet the State Council announced a ban on certain imported solid waste in July last year from environmental protection and public health concerns, demanded that agencies crack down on waste smuggling and a issued a plan to cease import of all solid waste replaceable by domestic resources.
GACC has completed four collaborative investigations into garbage from abroad this year. These have confirmed used plastics, mineral wastes and scrap metals and other foreign wastes have amounted to 1.45 million tons, among which the quantity impounded on-site was 0.22 million tons, the agency said. GACC has filed 387 criminal cases, arrested 578 suspects and smashed 186 smuggling rings.
Chinese legal import of solid wastes as raw materials in the same term has also dropped significantly. The import amount was 13.8 million tons, down 57 percent per year, while the total value was CNY72 billion (USD10.5 billion) down 33.4 percent year on year, per GACC.
Strict control on foreign wastes will continue, GACC pledged.
Editor: Ben Armour