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By not reducing pollutants, firms harm themselves
2017-09-06delos

MORE THAN 54 PERCENT of some 41,928 enterprises across the  country were found to have violated the environmental protection laws during the  past five months, according to an ongoing inspection on air pollution by the  Ministry of Environmental Protection. Beijing News commented on  Tuesday:

That environmentally unfriendly production activities  continue even after several rounds of nationwide inspection warrants tougher  supervision and enforcement on heavy polluters. The inspection teams dispatched  by the ministry will reportedly conduct research independent of local  environmental authorities to rule out hidden favoritism.

The bitter truth is that government supervision, however  targeted and efficient, is not likely to cover all polluting enterprises and  factories. So the task of reducing industrial air pollution and promoting green  industry falls mainly on local manufacturers themselves. And their reluctance to  do so will push that goal further off the table.

In all likelihood, many heavy polluters either do not have  waste-processing facilities or refrain from using them because their owners are  either unaware of or refuse to take environmental protection measures, because  they focus on short-term profits. Missing in their crude calculation is the fact  that polluted air, water and land will take a heavy toll on society, and them as  well.

Decades of exponential growth in China's manufacturing has  enriched a number of entrepreneurs, and they still believe the labor-intensive,  polluting-prone development approach will keep bringing them profits. They  should wake up to the fact that no one is immune to the consequences of  environmental damage. That's why the enforcement against environmental pollution  will gain more force and consistency.

Instead of evading the enforcers, those running  pollution-prone units must take rectification measures for their own good. Data  show every year about 780 million metric tons of industrial solid waste is  underused, meaning that about 25 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) goes down the  drain. Using clean energy and energy-saving technologies may be a better way  out.


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