It’s no secret that China is a leader in international world trade. For years, the country has been a major importer of many types of foreign goods, including timber, dairy products, and petrochemicals. China is also the world’s largest importer of waste. Last year, Chinese manufacturers and recyclers imported 7.3 million metric tons of waste plastics (valued at $3.7 billion), accounting for 56 percent of world imports in that category. It also took in more than half of the world’s exports of waste paper.