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China Adopts Law Revision to Curb Solid Waste Pollution

BEIJING — China’s top legislature Wednesday voted to adopt a revision to the law on the prevention and control of environmental pollution by solid waste.

Lawmakers approved the revision at the end of a regular session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee held from Sunday to Wednesday.

Based on the experience accumulated in the fight against COVID-19, the revision has made stipulations to strengthen the management of medical waste, especially during major infectious disease epidemics.

Medical waste should be managed according to stipulations of the national category for hazardous waste, and governments at or above the county level should improve their capabilities for the concentrated disposal of medical waste, according to the revision.

The revision further defines responsibilities in handling medical waste. Local health and environmental authorities should, within their respective jurisdictions, strengthen the supervision over and management of how medical waste is collected, stored, transported and disposed of.

Medical and health institutions should shoulder the responsibilities to sort and collect the medical waste they generate. Effective measures should be taken by medical and health institutions and waste disposers to avoid any possible leakage or spread of medical waste, according to the revision.

The revision also stipulates that necessary funds should be earmarked by governments at all levels for hazardous waste disposal in case of emergencies such as major infectious disease epidemics.

The revised law will take effect on Sept 1.

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