In January 2018, China implemented a policy that drastically restricts the plastic waste it imports from other countries. Until that time, most plastics that were globally exported for recycling went to China, so this change in policy has had a significant effect on the recycling industry. The Jambeck Research Group at the University of Georgia, led by environmental engineering professor Jenna Jambeck, researches issues related to plastic waste. Here, visitors can access the full text of the June 2018 research article, "The Chinese import ban and its impact on global plastic waste trade," published in the journal Science Advances, as well as the study's supplemental material, dataset, and a 30-second animation. Using data from the United Nations Commodity Trade Database, the study calculated that since 1992 China cumulatively imported about 45 percent of the world's plastic waste for a total of roughly 106 million metric tons (MT). The study also found that as a result of China's policy change, by 2030 approximately 111 million MTs of plastic waste will have nowhere to go under "business as usual" conditions. Interested readers may also want to explore other parts of this site to learn about related research.
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