For most of the world, China is a success story. The country was poor just a couple of decades ago. Today, though, it stands as an example of what happens when you give people a tiny bit of freedom and allow them to unleash their economic genius.
Unfortunately, though, the country’s rapid growth has come at a high cost for its soil. For years, manufacturers have been pumping out toxic waste into freshwater, and it’s made its way into the ground, creating health problems.
The human cost of these industrial policies is enormous. China has among the highest bladder and rectum cancer rates in the developing world, all thanks to soil pollution. Every year millions of people die prematurely. It’s a massive problem.
China’s industrial boom got going in the 1990s. Western manufacturers began outsourcing their operations to take advantage of the cheap labor and relative political stability. The country seemed like the ideal place to open factories. In the early years of the 21st century, the building work accelerated. Practically every industry in the world relocated some of its operations, taking advantage of rock-bottom wages and lax regulatory laws.
Now, though, the CCP and the rest of the country are reaping the thorns of their industry-led growth model. It bought a lot of wealth, but it also took a terrible toll on the environment. The soil is now so contaminated that it is affecting crops, getting into the water supply, and making people very ill indeed.
To put into perspective the scale of the change, consider this: Lake Tai used to be a pristine landscape with no factories at all. In the last thirty years, companies built more than 3,000 factories in the vicinity. Now the water is so polluted that it is bright green year-round. Nothing can live there, according to https://www.theguardian.com.
Soil pollution is a massive problem that went unnoticed in China for a long time. Now, though, the CCP is taking steps to remedy the problem.
Part of the solution is preventing the soil from becoming toxic in the first place. The government is rolling out new regulations that impose high fines on anyone caught dumping waste into freshwater.
The other effort is to find ways to clean the soil itself. As https://thompsonrock.com highlights, there are already plenty of machines out there that can do this. Adequate ground cleaning on-site is a great way for industrial companies to lower their footprint. If a firm no longer needs a factory, it can remove the structure and then clean the soil underneath.
Of course, the issue of pollution remains very sensitive in China. While it is a problem for health, it is also making a lot of people wealthy. For the first time, the average Chinese can afford the basics of life – and then some.
When you have lived so much of your life in poverty, it is hard to make any decisions that might threaten that. Soil cleaning, therefore, will probably take a while to ramp up in the country.