Will Fort Wayne’s curbside recycling program be affected by China’s ban on accepting plastics for recycling?

China has stopped importing plastics for recycling, but it hasn't impacted the city of Fort Wayne's curbside recycling program, an official said. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)

China’s decision to stop accepting plastics for recycling hasn’t impacted what plastics are accepted in Fort Wayne’s curbside recycling program, said Frank Suarez, public information officer for Fort Wayne City Utilities and Division of Public Works.

China actually stopped accepting imported plastic waste as of Dec. 31, 2017, but the decision generated news recently when scientists published the results of a study on how the ban may affect other countries. Some communities already have begun struggling with what to do with plastics no longer accepted by China, news reports have said.

The research study, which was published in the journal Science Advances, said wealthy countries such as the United States, Japan and Germany have sent their plastic recyclables to China for years, The Associated Press reported. The study found China has accepted more than 116 million tons of recyclable plastics since 1992, the news report said.

Using United Nations data, scientists involved in the study determined China has accepted about 45 percent of the world’s plastic waste since 1992, the Associated Press report said.

China’s ban on importing plastics waste is part of the country’s crackdown on accepting foreign garbage, which now is viewed as a threat to health and environment, the Associated Press report said.