"Green Fence" operation has reduced imports of plastic waste by 5.5% in the first four months of the year. This is a massive change for China, comparing to double-digit increases in recycled materials flowing in has been noted last years. From January through April imports of scrap plastic bound for recycling factories in the country fell to 2.4 million metric tons, after the Chinese government started implementing its new operation. According to Chinese government, the main goal of the oparation is to limit pollution from dirty or contaminated waste materials such as scrap paper or plastics from other countries. The second aim is to force the local industry to upgrade to higher, cleaner standards.
Some recycling industry representatives complain that the new policy causes long delays clearing materials at customs, creates shortages of materials in manufacturing plants, and cuts into profits.
Chinese government plans to continue the "Green Fence" operation through October or November. The next phases will include exerting tighter control over the limited number of licenses issued to import scrap materials in China, including the practice of companies selling licenses.