Chinese recycling company sees opportunities in circular economy

Updated 2018-01-23 17:23:04 Xinhua

China's green development path has provided opportunities for its recycling industries, with some enterprises making achievements in the circular economy.

GEM Co. Ltd, a Shenzhen-based company that specializes in resource recycling was awarded runner-up in the Award for Circular Economy Multinationals at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Tuesday Beijing time.

The "Circulars," an initiative of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, is a circular economy awards program that recognizes individuals and organizations around the world who make contributions to the circular economy.

"We increasingly see China's globalizing enterprises playing a responsible role on the international stage in circular economy," said Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and chief executive.

GEM focuses on urban mines, including metal, used electronics and batteries. With China's booming new energy vehicle (NEV) market, it also recycles scrapped lithium batteries from NEVs by extracting the nickel, cobalt and other precious metals that are strategic resources.

Xu Kaihua, GEM chairman, believes that promoting the circular economy is vital to tackle the economic and environmental risks of resource exploitation.

"Turning waste into treasure is a sunrise industry that fits into China's green development. We aim to build a world-leading recycling enterprise," said Xu.

GEM is just one of the practitioners of China's green development concept. According to the report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, China will promote a sound economic structure that facilitates green, low-carbon, and circular development.

China aims to increase the output value of the resource recycling industry to 3 trillion yuan by 2020, according to an action plan to boost the recycling industry.

GEM has combined the recycling industry with green technology. It has applied for 1,200 core patents in the field of waste recycling and material recovery, including 52 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and foreign patents, and among which over 20 core patents were authorized in Europe, the United States and Japan.

The company has also promoted international cooperation in the circular economy. It cooperated with University of Oxford and the Oxford University Innovation Limited to research on how to effectively produce pyrolysis oil from waste tires. GEM has also made investments in Europe and South Africa,and plans to build a China-African Circular Economy Industrial Park in South Africa.

Experts say China's recycling industry also see opportunities in the global market.

"Many countries along the Belt and Road are still in the early stages of recycling their renewable resources. They have high demands for management experience and technical equipment, which will provide opportunities for China's maturing recycling enterprises," said Peng Xushu, deputy director of the Circular Economy Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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