The development of a circular economy, one that promotes the reuse of products and requires resources to be used with higher efficiency, will help China develop an environmentally aware society, a senior official said.
"Developing the circular economy will speed up the transformation into a resource-efficient and environmentally friendly society", said Wang Jinxiang, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.
The recycling of electronic goods has meant that waste has become a commodity for many companies that strip parts of old products to use them for new ones.
Plastic parts of cell phones can be used for materials used in non-wood packaging, which saves natural resources such as wood, while gold, silver and copper, found inside the phones, can be used in recycling.
"The whole society is paying more attention for saving and recycling the resources," said Mo Lin from Tes-Amm China, a waste management company that has boosted e-waste collection this year through collaborating with enterprises producing electronic appliances, government departments and local communities.
"The circular economy concept helps people to think in a holistic way, as it penetrates through the whole chain, from raw materials to mid-production techniques, emission reduction, packaging and transportation, consumption and reuse," said Daniel Dudek, chief economist of the US-based non-profit group Environmental Defense.
Implementing the concept in business will help build up a positive image for made-in-China brands on the international market, because of the high environmental standards adopted, according to Dudek.
The country passed the Circular Economy Promotion Law in August, which will come into effect from Jan 1.
The law regulates that governments at all levels should map out a system for developing a circular economy.
Enterprises and government departments that employ technologies, equipment and material that are prohibited will face fines of up to 200,000 yuan.
(China Daily 10/25/2008 page8)