Prior to a change of policy in 2013, China was the world’s main plastic waste recipient, importing almost 50% of the plastic waste exported globally since 1992 (Brooks et al. 2018). Recycled plastic has been used extensively in manufacturing in China, and imported plastic waste was predominantly processed in an informal sector that provided low-technology processing services (Velis 2014; Rucevska et al. 2015). High-income countries such as Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States were the top plastic waste exporters (UN Comtrade 2021).
From collection: Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics