Chinese garden hoses are becoming increasingly popular, with the Chinese government banning all domestic use of the water-saving technology.
The decision comes as China seeks to crack down on carbon emissions and to curb the use of air pollution in the country.
“We have an absolute duty to keep the air quality in good shape, and we’re not going to tolerate pollution,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the government is taking measures to improve air quality.
In recent years, China has banned all indoor use of carbon-capture technology, which uses chemical compounds to capture CO2 in the atmosphere, and banned its import and export.
But the government has since expanded its crackdown on CO2 emissions, and now allows domestic garden hose use.
China is the world’s second-largest CO2 emitter, behind the US, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.
While it’s difficult to track how much CO2 is being captured, China’s government says it’s capturing at least 200 billion tonnes per year.
However, China and other developing countries have found it hard to regulate the use and export of the technology because it’s often not tracked by environmental organisations and it is a source of pollution.
“The technology can’t be regulated in any way, shape or form, and is being used illegally,” Li told reporters.
“But there are also people who are trying to evade it.”
“It’s a way of getting around the environmental laws,” said Liu Yong, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, who studies the Chinese market for garden hose.
“You need a licence to do anything with the technology, but there are people who can get a licence for using it.”
It’s not just the price tag but the environmental impact too,” Liu said.
Liu’s research suggests that a small number of Chinese users are using the technology illegally, and she has been able to track down at least six of the more than 1,000 people she has interviewed who have used the technology.
Some people in China have been selling their garden hose for as little as £500 ($890), while others charge more than £3,000 ($5,300) for the devices.
They’re getting these prices from the manufacturers who are selling it for very cheap,” Liu added. “
In some countries, the water use is high enough that they can’t even be sold in China.
They’re getting these prices from the manufacturers who are selling it for very cheap,” Liu added.
“So it’s a big problem.”
The US government has been investigating the Chinese industry, which has been accused of illegally importing some of the device’s components, including a cooling device.
The Chinese government also has a reputation for clamping down on the flow of foreign goods into the country, including agricultural products.
According to Greenpeace, the Chinese Government has banned the sale of garden hose to foreign buyers and has also taken steps to restrict the use in China of Chinese products, including its staple corn and soybean meal.