BEIJING, June 2 (Xinhua) -- China is now moving closer and vows to achieve its goal of halting all imports of solid waste by the end of 2020, part of its broader anti-pollution efforts.
The country imported 2.49 million tonnes of solid waste in the first four months of the year, down by a massive 47.3 percent from one year earlier, Liu Youbin, spokesperson for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told a press conference on Tuesday.
Liu said the ministry, together with other relevant authorities, will be unremitting in ensuring that the goal be achieved by the end of the year.
China began importing solid waste as a source of raw materials in the 1980s and for years has been the world's largest importer, despite its weak capacity in garbage disposal. Some companies have profited by illegally bringing foreign waste into the country, posing a threat to the environment and public health.
The Chinese government vowed to halt such imports by the end of 2020, and moved to increase the domestic solid waste recycle rate.