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Chinese recycling races ahead

The combined volume of materials recycled by 7 400 Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai rose more than 45% in 2021, according to environmental, social and governance data provider Miotech.

The increase in waste processing last year was 52.5 million tonnes, reports the South China Morning Post. Meanwhile, the claimed average recycling rate was up significantly, reaching 69.2% last year, compared to 60.5% in 2020. 

Miotech believes this could be a long-term trend owing to a major policy push by Beijing to increase recycling in several energy and carbon-intensive industries. 

The company expects the recycling of steel, aluminium, plastic and paper to contribute to a total reduction of 670 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2022. Miotech analysts anticipate the figure will hit 765 million tonnes by 2025.

The Chinese government wants to see the utilisation of recycling paper increase by almost 10% by 2025 to 60 million tonnes. For scrap steel, the increase is planned to be around 25% (320 million tonnes) while aluminium scrap levels are expected to go up 55%, totalling 11.5 million tonnes. 

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