Regulatory Push Needed for Recycling
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For those who recycle Tetra Paks, the profits are small. This make them unpopular with recycling enterprises. As Yuan Xiaoyuan finds out, China may benefit from the experience of other countries as it looks for a solution.
Piles of Tetra Paks wait to be recycled at a Beijing recycling company. Many will be turned into desks and trash cans.
The company recycled five thousand tons of milk packs last year, which only made up 60 percent of their planned volume.
He Biao from an Environmental technology company,said, "The quality of Tetra Pak material is better than recycled plastic and wood. But the cost of Tetra Pak recycling is higher, so products created are more expensive, and less competitive."
Tests of desks made from recycled Tetra Pak material show them to be a more environmentally friendly substance than wood. But their price is 30 percent higher. Experts say small profits for high quality products is a common challenge for the development of recycling companies in China. They urged favorable policies such as tax reduction and exemptions to help the recycling companies.
Countries like Germany have also set up a system where producers pay for the recycling fees and marks on the packs, and ask companies to take in charge of the recycling process.
Yang Bin, vice president of Tetra Pak China, said, "EU member countries have made clear the goal and requirement the recycling companies need to reach each year. But China has no such official enforcement so far."
China has a law to promote a recycling economy, and requires production companies to take responsibility for their package waste. The formulation of another regulation on package waste recycling is underway, which is expected to include Tetra Pak and other packages in a mandatory process for recycling.
(CCTV November 24, 2009)