>> With China no longer the world's trash can, these mass recycling workers may soon find their jobs outsourced abroad. This factory outside of Shanghai spins plastic scrap into new things like furniture, but it's the last of what was once 22 facilities in the area. Beijing banned imports of foreign trash at the start of the year.
And it's upended how the whole world deals with garbage. It's also cut recyclers off from millions of tons of plastic rubbish the EU and US sent to China every year. Without that supply of plastic the plant's owner says that he's laid off 250 workers, but he's hired another 600 in Malaysia.
Southeast Asia is taking on a lot of the diverted trash and nearly a third of China's recyclers have moved operations there. That isn't what Beijing wanted. As Reuters' David Stanway explains, it's got a trash problem piling up at home.>> The end game for the Chinese government, is to make sure that they have enough recycling capacity to handle these vast amounts of domestic waste which are now building and building since the 1980s.
They're now huge amounts. And up to now, they've had to bury them. They've had to use these spoiling landfill sites outside cities to try and cope with it. They want to make sure that this material is processed domestically. At the moment, there is just not enough room to deal with 7 million tons of plastic waste coming in from then United States and Europe.
>> The recycling companies may be on a ticking clock. Southeast Asia is already dealing with a plastic pollution issue. It's home to the top four ocean polluters for plastic, and insiders tell Reuters, no one wants cascades of extra garbage.>> One of the big concerns also for many enterprises, is that the regulations will also get tougher in Malaysia, in Thailand, and Vietnam.
So they maybe will have to move this facilities again.>> One analyst told Reuters, Beijing is banned and limits elsewhere could see developed countries like the UK overhaul their recycling strategies. Instead of sending their trash on the slow boat to China.