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Mandatory garbage sorting will be implemented in Beijing soon

Trash, sorted

Photo: Wikicommons
Many in Beijing have been relieved that the capital city has so far been spared waste sorting, especially seeing how Shanghai residents came to grips with it. Remember those viral memes and jingles about which bins garbage should be sorted into? Well buckle up, it seems Beijing might be next to get er, sorted.

A new trash sorting law has been proposed and will soon be pushed forward by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management. Currently open for public feedback until Nov 13, the rules look ambiguous, but slightly less so compared to Shanghai in terms of categorising types of waste.

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Photo: Janelle Chew

Instead of referring trash as wet and dry, which has caused a great deal of confusion and stress for Shanghai’s residents, Beijingers are only required to dispose garbage into four categories under this proposal: Kitchen waste, recyclable waste, hazardous waste and residual waste. Violators will face a hefty fine starting from 200RMB, with an additional penalty of lower social credit ratings (gasp!).

No one will be spared – households and especially businesses will be affected. The proposed regulation for example, states that hotels and restaurants that offer disposable utensils or toiletries will face a fine of up to 5,000RMB.

The strict regulation has received mixed reactions online, as netizens are puzzled by what will happen to the food delivery and e-commerce industry if it becomes a reality. Some suspect it’ll cause the prices of plasticware to rise, with the extra costs borne by consumers. But all can agree that in the long run, less plastic means less toxic waste.

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Photo: Flickr

Though no specific date has been announced when this law will come into effect, it will be an uphill task for Beijing, which generates about 26,000 metric tonnes of domestic waste every day from its 21 million residents.

Trash sorting is coming. If you still aren’t acquainted with the intricacies of its rules and recycling, now is the time to get familiar. Here's some tips from local experts to get your started.

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