A $15 million grant from the World Bank aims to assist in the reduction of Chinese pulp mill pollutants. The national strategy targets persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are a group of chemical substances including pesticides, industrial chemicals, and unintentional by-products of industrial processes that persist in the environment.
Source: Asian Scientist
AsianScientist (Apr. 2, 2012) – The World Bank has awarded the People’s Republic of China a US$15 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support reduction of dioxins from its pulp and paper industry.
The Dioxins Reduction from the Pulp and Paper Industry Project will assist China to implement its national strategy in this sector.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a group of chemical substances including pesticides, industrial chemicals, and unintentional by-products of industrial processes that persist in the environment. Dioxins are one type of the 21 POPs listed in the Stockholm Convention on POPs.
These POPs can lead to serious health effects, including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease and even diminished intelligence.
Among others, pulp and paper production forms and releases dioxins unintentionally if elemental chlorine bleaching technologies are used.
As a signatory to the Stockholm Convention, China has proposed to adopt a series of measures to control and reduce dioxins release from its pulp and paper industry before 2015.
The World Bank sponsored project will focus on demonstrating best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP) in four existing non-wood mills which typify the most commonly used non-wood fiber material in China: straw, reed, bamboo, and bagasse.
Support will also be provided to strengthen the government’s capacity in monitoring and enforcement of a national dioxin standard issued recently.
Based on the results of the demonstration projects, China will develop a long-term national action plan to scale up efforts and further control the formation and release of UPOPs from both the wood and non-wood pulp sectors.
“China has been very proactive in identifying and tackling its POPs issues since its signing of the Stockholm Convention in 2004,” said World Bank’s Senior Environmental Specialist Jiang Ru and task manager of the project.
“As the first project working on unintentionally produced POPs from its industrial sectors, this project will showcase how industrial sectors can address POPs without compromising their competitiveness,” Jiang added.
Established in 1991, the GEF is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. It provides grants to developing countries and countries in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and POPs.