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China has been cracking down on high-emission vehicles in an effort to reduce pollution, leading to an increase in the number of recycling centers and scrapyards where cars, trucks and buses that did not pass the annual inspection are piling up in huge numbers. In recent years, air pollution and smog in particular, has become a big health hazard and threat to daily life and the Chinese government has vowed to wage a battle against air pollution, actively pushing for green upgrades to vehicles and setting ambitious carbon-cutting targets.

One of China’s most attractive city Hangzhou, which has a reputation of unparalleled natural beauty and cultural prestige and home to around 4 million people, suffers from airborne pollution for well over half the year. In 2013, the city registered 239 days of smog pollution, or almost 90 days more than the annual average. Over 40% of the particulate matter suspended in air comes from vehicle emissions, a share that reflects residents’ rising average incomes, which have increased fourfold in fifteen years. This has created an increasingly affluent society with a correspondingly increasing private car ownership. There is now roughly one car for every two people in Hangzhou.

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Old taxis are abandoned in a scrap yard in Chongqing. Photo credit

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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