China’s Landfills Are Closing: Where Will The Waste Go?

In China, waste and waste management have attracted national concern. From environmental issues like toxic chemicals in sea water, to issues affecting urban centers – like Beijing's burdened landfills – waste has become a central part of public discourse. With this in mind, we thought we'd share insights from our past and recent work on waste in Shanghai, and shed light on major changes to waste m…

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Three of the Top Concerns for Chinese Citizens in 2017

Last week, President Xi Jinping attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Businesses, world leaders, NGOs, and think tanks used the forum to forecast concerns, offer international solutions, and point out emerging global trends. China was often a point of discussion. Chinese Concerns Ipsos, for instance, presented new China-related findings from its 2016 study, “What Worries t…

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From China to India: Scaling Sustainable Solutions

Early this year, I took a flight from Mumbai to Shanghai - which included a five-hour, pollution-related delay in Delhi. During the whole time in the air, it was only over the Himalayas that I saw the Asian continent getting a respite from the consequences of industrial activity, localized burning, and energy consumption. India: The Next "China" India is now well-documented to follow in Chin…

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Shanghai Waste Scandal: 100 Tons Dumped Illegally

Earlier this week, Shanghai’s municipal government uncovered 100 tons of waste dumped illegally near Chongming Island. Pictures of the scandal garnered serious attention on Weibo and included biohazards, household waste, and plastics in one of Shanghai’s four reservoirs. Investigators from Chongming’s Water Source Management department have found no signs of serious contamination, but they have te…

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Action Over Regulation: The Economics of China’s Recycled Paper & Cardboard

In a prior article in our ongoing series of waste management in China, we pointed out that rebranding waste as a resource can provide an alternative lens when discussing waste. As a valued resource, recycled paper and cardboard in China offer a unique case of how global market mechanisms and government regulation impact the role of waste in society. From foreign imports to sharp spikes in domes…

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3 Reasons Why Trump is Good for Sustainable Business — In China

In a previous post, we looked at the potential future of energy, environmental, and sustainability under a Trump presidency. In our discussion, we highlighted Trump's potential impact on the Paris Agreement, the EPA, and major regulations like the Clean Power Plan, and had a recurring conclusion -- the environment will likely take a back seat to coal and natural gas jobs. Our analysis was very…

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China’s Plastic Waste Epidemic: What You Need to Know

The world produces approximately 300 million tons of plastics each year, and that number is only increasing. Furthermore, 22% to 43% of the plastic used worldwide is disposed of in landfills, according to the United Nations Environmental Program. With the rise in popularity of online ordering and takeaway or delivery services, the future of China's plastic waste — from consumption to disp…

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To Clean Its Air, China Has to Clean Its System First

With the return of winter bringing fresh reports of smog across a number of China's cities and talk about how bad things will be this year, last week's announcement that government officials in Xi'an were arrested for faking air pollution statistics caught our eye. While the act of falsifying data — or tampering with air monitoring equipment — is nothing new for China, this news was interesting…

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What Trump Means for Energy and the Future of Environmental Policy

This is Part One of Collective’s ongoing series on Trump, China, and the future of global energy policy. Election Aftershock The past two days have been a political frenzy. Abroad, American allies have begun to worry about treaties and long-standing partnerships. With Trump's previous statements calling China a "currency manipulator", and his plans to slap 45% tariffs on Chinese goods, the st…

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Rebranding Waste: Refuse is a Resource

Smelly. Useless. Truck. Bin Man. Trash. Annoying. These are all words that popped into people’s heads when asked what they first thought upon hearing the word "waste". A quick Google search reveals other phrases like “worthless”, “no purpose”, “no longer useful or required”, “the unusable remains”. While I don't deny the legitimacy of the definition, it is striking to me how many items and pr…

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