On November 25, 2020, five Chinese government agencies and departments, including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, jointly published the National Hazardous Waste List 2021. This revised list takes effect on January 1, 2021. Here are the key points of the revision:
Revision of provisions on discarded hazardous chemical management
As discarded hazardous chemicals cannot always be treated as regular hazardous waste (e.g. liquid nitrogen), the clause in Article 4 of the 2016 version of the list that states “chemicals on the Hazardous Chemical List are treated as hazardous waste after being disposed of” was removed; and the following definitions of hazardous waste has been added to the category 900-999-49 of the list: “hazardous chemicals whose disposal has been applied for by the owners, and hazardous chemicals that have been confiscated or requisitioned by relevant authorities according to the law and should be disposed of”.
Clearer definitions of hazardous waste related to plastics, emulsions and plasticizers
Definitions of hazardous waste generated in the manufacturing processes of plastics, emulsions and plasticizers were not clear enough in the 2016 list. The 2021 list has clearer definitions. Below is an example.
|2016 list||2021 list|
|Defective products produced in the manufacturing processes of plastics, emulsions and plasticizers.||Defective products produced in the manufacturing processes of plastics, emulsions and plasticizers (excluding waste left after monomers and oligomers as well as solvents and other processing aids are removed from the polymeric products of thermoplastics manufacturing processes; and cured thermoset resins).|
Revision of the exemption list
- The Hazardous Waste Management Exemption List is attached to the National Hazardous Waste List. Wastes on the exemption list are exempted from being treated as hazardous waste under specified conditions.
- The number of exempted waste types has increased from 16 on the 2016 exemption list to 32 on the 2021 list. Below are examples of waste types added to the latest list.
|Type of hazardous waste||Operation affected by exemption||Condition for exemption||Description of exemption|
|Polluted soil treated as hazardous waste in soil pollution risk management and reconstruction work||Transportation||The operator must develop a transportation plan and notify the ecology and environment authorities in charge of the locations of the reconstruction site and waste destination in advance according to the law.||The waste is not transported as hazardous waste.|
|Disposal||The operator must carry out co-processing in a cement kiln while meeting the requirements of the Standard for Pollution Control on Co-processing of Solid Wastes in Cement Kiln (GB 30485) and Environmental Protection Technical Specification for Co-processing of Solid Wastes in Cement Kiln (HJ 662).||The waste is not treated as hazardous waste when disposed of.|
|Waste of catalysts for automobile and non-road mobile machinery exhaust treatment||Transportation||The waste must be transported in a way that satisfies the requirements of waterproofness, impermeability and scattering prevention.||The waste is not transported as hazardous waste.|
You can see the full revised list at
http://www.mee.gov.cn/xxgk2018/xxgk/xxgk02/202011/t20201127_810202.html (in simplified Chinese).