The last three years have seen China's policymakers pay more attention to the country's worsening waste problem. In 2018, China's municipal solid waste (MSW) reached 22.8 million tonnes, a quantity that is expected to climb up to 409 million tonnes by 2030 as China continues to urbanize and grow economically. This swelling volume of garbage poses a threat to both the environment and the climate.
In 2017, China launched a pilot program of new waste sorting regulations in selected cities, and policymakers are now planning a national scale-up. In late April this year, the Chinese government approved changes to the Solid Waste Law, making waste sorting a core element of the revised law.