On the eve of the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos in January, China announced a nationwide ban on single-use plastics as part of a bold five-year environmental plan.
The policy will see a ban on single-use plastic bags and disposable wares such as tape, packaging materials and swabs in China’s metropoles by the close of the year. Fast food establishments will not be allowed to distribute plastic eating utensils with their food.
The effort is part of a five-year plan implemented by the government to tackle plastic waste issues in urban and rural areas. The Chinese rural regions will have to comply with the policy by 2022.
The ban is part of a large-scale plan to address China’s problem with pollutants in high population hubs and coastal regions.
China has taken this proactive stance to provide immediate relief to its growing waste problem with the Jiangcungou landfill already at full capacity – 25 years ahead of schedule.
As in many other countries, drinking straws have been highlighted as a key concern and a nationwide ban on single-use straws will take effect during the five year programme.
The phased implementation of China’s new policy will allow businesses, manufacturers and consumers time to adapt.
The production and sale of bamboo multi-use drinking straws has emerged as a result of the incoming ban. A versatile material, bamboo is abundant in Asia and has a low environmental impact. E-commerce behemoth Alibaba already has a wide variety of customisable straws available.
Plastics vital to the agricultural sector will be addressed as part of the programme. Plastic films used to cool and control soil conditions will have to meet a quality standard set by the government. Plastic film will be removed from farms before their expiration dates as they break down and contaminate local soil and immediate water sources.
China will become the world’s largest nation with bans on single-use plastics. Canada is planning to follow suit in 2021.
Chinese plan for plastic ban http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202001/20/WS5e24181da310128217272097.html