The Recycling Economy Promotion Law (also translated as the “Circular Economy Promotion Law”) went into effect in China on January 1, 2009. This new law’s aim is to promote the efficiency of resource use, protect the environment, and improve the sustainable development.  

According to this law, the main measures being taken to promote recycling economy include: reduction, reuse, and recycling. Among them, this law gives top priority to “reduction”, because of China’s high energy consumption in the current process of industrialization. “Reduction” refers to decreasing resource use and waste production. For example, the design of product and packaging must give preference to materials that are recyclable, dismountable, degradable, innocuous, harmless, or slightly harmful or poisonous. The avoidance of excessive packaging is also a requirement under this law. Furthermore, the measure of reduction is applicable to other fields, including electrical and electronic equipment, water-saving, oil-saving, mining industry, architectural design, construction industry, one-off consumer goods, and catering, entertainment and hotel industries.

The Recycling Economy Promotion Law also puts an emphasis on the reuse and recycling of waste, such as industrial waste, construction waste, agricultural waste, waste water, and waste heat. This law encourages the reproduction of motor parts and mechanical equipment, as well as the renewal of tires. Labels showing reproduction and renewal must be conspicuously attached to those products.

Besides, the Recycling Economy Promotion Law requires that central and local governments set up incentive measures, including fiscal funds, tax preference, and banking loans support, to foster recycling economy. Enterprises and individuals that make contribution to recycling economy will benefit from those incentive measures.

In sum, this new law is an important step to establish energy-saving and environment-friendly society in China through efficient use of energy, low production of waste, and sufficient reuse and recycling of waste.