Starting from Monday July 1st, it is compulsory for individuals and companies in Shanghai to sort their household trash.
Shanghai is the third largest and most populous city in the world! With a population of more than 26 million residents, Shanghai is the most trash generating city, with more than nine million tons per year. According to official statistics only 10% of the waste is recycled.
This new law will surely have a great impact on the city’s sustainability score. However, what does it mean for Shanghai’s residents and companies daily life? Let’s find out!
How does the new recycling system work?
Waste has been divided into four types:
Wet trash: also called household food waste ( and represented by the color brown)
Recyclable: consists in papers, plastic, glass, textiles, metals (they must be cleaned first before being thrown away) and the bin is blue.
Dry trash: also named residual waste. You can throw in used tissue, dirty plastic bags, etc. The designated bin is black
And finally, hazardous waste: it encompasses any waste posing threats to the public health or environment. The trash bin is red.
To help you sort out and recycle effectively your rubbish, you can refer to the following tables:
What if you don’t comply with the new rules?
Individuals breaking the new trash sorting rules are going to be charged with 200 yuan, while companies and organizations risk fines up to 50000 yuan.
Why did China implement these rules?
For a while, China used to import and accept other countries’ waste for processing. In January 2018, the country enacted a plastic import ban, initiating its transition. Now the country is trying to tackle its own trash. The Chinese government is concerned about the country’s pollution issue and has started to take action in order to prevent further damage. Keep in mind that, according to the World Bank, China was expected to produce approximately 533 million tons of waste by 2030.
Moreover, China is in the sixth year of a “war on pollution” designed not only to clean up its sky, soil or water, but it also consists in utilizing comprehensively its resources, including waste.
A green revolution has started in Shanghai and it is about to spread quickly to the rest of the country. By 2020, the Chinese government is planning on expanding the recycling rules across 46 Chinese cities.
How is the response to this change?
The new sorting rules have left many residents scratching their heads over which bin to throw their rubbish into, although the government hired instructors and conducted more than 13,000 training sessions around the city, the confusion remains.
The topic went viral on Chinese Social Medias. On one hand, many people expressed their sympathy towards this sustainable measure, on the other hand numerous others are still worried about making mistakes.
Many apps were launched to help the residents sorting their waste. They are available on Wechat, Alipay and Apple store.
Test your knowledge on WeChat with this in-app game!
Companies seem to be struggling as well while sorting their waste. Hotels for example decided to ban disposable goods (like toothbrushes). Recently, many restaurants and food delivery companies banned plastic cutlery as well.
Times are changing in Shanghai towards a more sustainable city. However, as it is the case with any evolution, adapting requires efforts and might appear challenging. At ASI Movers , we believe in greener initiatives, yet understand the struggles such a sudden change can bring to our fellow expats, especially when one is still adapting to one’s new life in China!
Our aim remains to help you in your expatriation journey. Because it is hardly an easy task, and because relocating should be the least of your worries, we provide you with the most qualitative and comprehensive moving services from, to and within China!