Today the Chinese are the largest plastic manufacturers in the world, producing about 29% of the material.
The Chinese government has announced a new plan to combat plastic pollution across the country. By 2025, China plans to ban plastic straws, plastic bags, and other disposables.
In a statement released on Sunday (19), the National Development and Reform Commission of China said that both the production and the use of single-use plastics will be phased out across the country.
Markets will have more time to adjust
According to authorities, plastic bags will be banned in all major cities in China by the end of 2020 and in all cities and towns until 2022. Markets that sell fresh produce, however, will have more time to adapt to change: until 2025.
Plastic straws will be replaced by the end of 2020
In restaurants, by the end of this year, plastic straws should be replaced by ecological alternatives. By 2025, these establishments will have to reduce their consumption of disposable plastic items by at least 30%. The restrictions will also affect the post office: packages wrapped in plastic cannot be sent.
China is the main producer and one of the largest consumers of plastic
Today the Chinese are the largest plastic manufacturers in the world, producing about 29% of the material, according to a 2019 study by Columbia University in the United States in partnership with Zhejiang University in China.
The country is also home to some of the world’s largest plastic consumption: according to the World Economic Forum, the Yangtze River carries more plastic pollution into the ocean than any other waterway in the world.
“Building a beautiful China”
In addition to the bans announced yesterday, the Chinese government has said it will promote the use of degradable or recycled plastic products and create comprehensive recycling programs. In a statement released to the press, the commission said that fighting plastic pollution is important for people’s health and essential for “building a beautiful China”.