Hainan company on trial for garbage smuggling
The Second Intermediate People's Court of Hainan province recently heard a case on the smuggling of foreign solid waste, according to a report from Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.
Identified as "foreign garbage" and amounting to more than 1,033 tons, the solid rubber waste, mainly cord glue and wire glue which are prohibited from import to China, were illegally smuggled into the tropical island by a local company through false declaration at local customs, the report alleged.
Public prosecution charges claimed a gang of smugglers registered a trade company in the Hainan Yangpu Economic Development Zone on May 31, 2017, and ever since has engaged in the illegal processing, import and export of waste rubber.
The solid rubber waste came from countries such as the United States, Israel, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. The local company evaded customs supervision by falsifying product names, prices and even trade contracts, according to the Xinhua report.
After the incident was uncovered, the company returned the solid wastes to their source countries in accordance with customs requirements, the report said, adding the case is still under trial and will be adjudicated at a later date.
Waste rubber is a polymer compound which is difficult to degrade, and it is internationally recognized as a harmful waste due to negative effects on the importer country's environment.
A reform plan on solid waste import management released by the State Council late last month said "foreign garbage" will be entirely banned from entering the country.
By the end of 2019, the country will phase out imports of solid waste that can be replaced by domestic resources, the plan said.
China started to import solid waste as raw materials to make up for the domestic shortage of resources in the 1980s, but some companies have illegally smuggled "foreign garbage" into the country for profit, damaging the environment and public health.