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News from China
Sorting trash only one factor in waste-disposal equation
25th June 2019

 Shanghai is encouraging residents to sort their garbage, with new regulations coming into effect on July 1 that will impose fines for those who don’t separate dry rubbish, wet trash, hazardous waste and recyclable materials.

But that’s just the front end of the problem of mounting garbage in Chinese cities. The focus is shifting to new technologies that convert garbage to productive uses and thus divert it from landfills that are rapidly filling up.
One concept already implemented in some cities of Europe is catching attention: using downtown incinerators to burn trash and create energy. The mere thought of an incineration plant in a neighborhood might imply backlash from NIMBYs, or “not in my backyard” folks, but Paris got around that problem.
The Isséane incineration plant, about two kilometers from the Eiffel Tower, converts garbage into energy used to supply electricity to homes.
The plant, built in 2007, is 52 meters high, but only 21 meters of the facility is visible. The rest of the operations are below ground and out of sight. Above, the area is landscaped to mitigate any remaining unsightliness. In other words, the incineration plant is not a neighborhood eyesore or pollutant.
Advance gas treatment technology used at the plant means there is no plume from the stack of the incinerator. Half of the energy generated from burning garbage provides electricity for about 80,000 households in Paris.
Paris aside, waste incineration plants are popping up in other densely populated centers in Europe. That means garbage does not need to be trucked to remote suburbs.
“The European model is suitable for China,” said Mike Wood, vice president of new business development at the Soda Ash and Derivatives Business Unit of Solvay China. “A waste incinerator plant can be located downtown. It can be used for heating or generating power. Beijing and Shanghai are great places to deploy such a model because of their high energy needs.”
Wang Yan, business development manager at the division of Solvay China, said the technology of “dry sorbent injection,” which keeps emissions from waste incineration plants within strict standards, was introduced into China about four years ago. However, it has been mainly applied in power, chemical and metals plants.
Over 100 plants in China use the technology to reduce gas emissions and meet the stringent standards of Chinese regulations, including Ansteel.
“Beginning this year, we are focusing on gas treatment in garbage incineration because the need for incineration plants is growing as the Chinese government tackles the waste problem,” Wang said.
“We will first focus on dangerous waste because emissions from hazardous waste are more difficult to control,” she added. “Treating domestic waste will be our second phase of work. We are supplying materials for waste incineration to China Everbright International Co. by testing the gas and running plant trials. We are confident the technology will prove advantageous.”
Solvay China is also planning to work with the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment, which is in charge of most of waste incineration in Shanghai.
“The trend of garbage treatment will be ‘classification, recycling and reuse,’” said Wood, who has experience with the European programs. “Waste incineration should never be just waste incineration; it should be energy generation because it’s an ongoing source of energy.”
Waste is indeed a vexing public problem. In 2018, the total volume of domestic garbage in Shanghai hit 9.8 million tons. Capacity to handle the waste is being enhanced by the construction of more facilities.
However, the disposal of hazardous waste – which includes items like batteries and paints -- is much more acute. In 2018, the city's industrial hazardous waste rose to 1.3 million tons.
As of the end of 2018, there were 10 hazardous waste disposal facilities in Shanghai, including three waste landfills, one incineration facility for medical waste and seven hazardous waste incinerators.
Total disposal capacity was 391,800 tons a year, with 126,200 tons buried and 265,600 tons incinerated.
In tandem with the Chinese government’s intensified efforts to address increasing mountains of rubbish, many companies are providing innovative products to help the campaign along.
Some artificial intelligence and chip companies in China have introduced face recognition products to detect those who violate sorting regulations and to help instill good habits among residents.
China Telecom has developed a smart garbage classification and recycling system that automatically identifies categories of garbage and can calculate its value.
Some companies are selling household items that make sorting easier. Blum, an Austrian hardware company, developed a drawer installed under kitchen sinks that collects kitchen waste.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 25, 2019
Castle of Dreams' from Iran wins the best film award at SIFF
24th June 2019

 Iranian drama “Castle of Dreams” won the best feature film at the Golden Goblet awards ceremony of the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. 

The film is a touching story about a father, who after long years of absence fulfills his children’s fantasy of building a dream castle.
Reza Mirkarimi, director of the movie, also won the best director award.
“It is a fantastic night for me,” said Mirkarimi. “We had a good time in this beautiful city of Shanghai. Thank you for your hospitality and attention to my film.”
Iranian actor Hamed Behdad, who plays the role of father in the fim shared the best actor award with 97-year-old Chinese actor Chang Feng.
Behdad extended his gratitude to the jury panel in a recorded video message.
Chang portrays an old soldier longing to be back home in “The Return.” He told the audience that it was not easy for him to receive the award at his age.
Georgian Salome Demuria was named the best actress for her portrayal of a doctor who returns home after serving a long prison term in “Inhale-Exhale,” a Georgian-Russian-Swedish co-production.
The film also earned the Jury Grand Prix.
“It is a special day for me,” said Demuria. “This award will change my life.”
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 24, 2019
US fourth largest-city suffers from trade tension with China: trade expert
21st June 2019

 Houston, the fourth-largest city of the United States, will specifically suffer from a tense trade relationship with China, a trade expert has said.

Val Thompson, founder and president of the Houston International Trade Development Council, made the remarks Wednesday night in an interview with Xinhua at the launch party for the American-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Houston.
"I would consider China's trade relationship very important to Houston. Twenty-five percent of all imports to Houston are from China, mostly consumer products," Thompson said.
He expressed the belief that a negative trade relationship could affect employment and raise prices for various types of goods.
"We're going to lose jobs because of the higher prices. Companies and corporations will have to cut back on employment," he said. "We certainly hope these tariffs stop because they're creating higher prices in department stores and also tension between our small businesses and medium-sized companies."
Thompson and his organization are trying to help reach more people about the current trade tension in an effort to increase awareness.
"Our organization can write to our Congress, we can write to our senators and mention to them how our membership and some of our associates are hurt from higher prices," he said. "One thing I do know is that the tariffs need to stop. Trade barriers never work."
Co-hosted by international marketing firm Z LAB Global, the launch party attracted local politicians, business people and entrepreneurs.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 21, 2019
Small-town folks spend big in 618 festival
20th June 2019

 The 618 mid-year shopping festival which kicked off at the beginning of the month wrapped up this week, and all the evidence indicates that consumption remains strong.’s transactions between June 1 and June 18 were 27 percent up on last year at 202 billion yuan (US$ 29 billion). Home appliance sales hit the 1 billion yuan mark in just 2 minutes and 36 seconds on June 18, last day of the festival and the ultimate price-slashing day.
Alibaba Group said its 18-day campaign helped more than 100 brands turnover more than 100 million yuan each. During last year’s Singles’ Day, more than 230 brands on Tmall made more than 100 million yuan in 24 hours.
A Bocom International research note suggested that overall online performance in the second quarter will improve due to enthusiasm for the mid-year campaign.
New marketing strategies are also driving sales, with live-streaming on Taobao allowing consumers get to know merchants. The merchants involved sold more than 13 billion yuan of their wares.
JD came up with the idea of a mid-year sale more than ten years ago and it has since become the second biggest shopping frenzy after Singles Day in November.
On-demand delivery platform Dada-JD Daojia, which sells groceries and fresh food for supermarkets including Walmart, Carrefour and Yonghui, said sales between June 15 and June 18 were double those of a year ago, with lower tier cities generating a lot of that increase. Pinduoduo’s orders hit 1.1 billion with 70 percent coming from lower tier cities.
As many as 48 percent of new products on Tmall during the event were purchased by customers outside first- and second-tier cities. Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion more than doubled its sales from last year.
Offline sales were also significant with JD’s experimental physical stores doing better than many online platforms.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 20, 2019

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