China is ramping up its efforts to restrict the manufacturing of single-use plastic products according to the country’s National Development and Reform Commission. The campaign aims to address the country’s largest environmental issues.
An immense amount of untreated plastic waste ends up buried in landfills or dumped in bodies of water. Single use-plastics are identified by the United Nations as one of the planet’s biggest environmental challenges as per The Guardian.
China’s NDRC and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued a policy that will ban plastic bags in all major cities before the start of 2021. On the other hand, single-use plastic will be banned in all cities and towns in 2022. Fresh produce markets will be exempted from the restriction until 2025.
Other single-use items such as plastic utensils, containers, and courier packaging will be phased out as well. China’s food industry will also be banned from using straws by the end of this year. Under the new policy, a 30% decrease will be imposed on the consumption of single-use plastics in the restaurant industry across towns and cities.
Restrictions will also be imposed in some regions and other sectors regarding the production and sale of plastics. However, specific geographical areas have not been identified.
The agricultural sector will be banned from the production and sale of plastic bags less than 0.025mm thick along with plastic film less than 0.01mm thick.
In 2018, the country implemented a ban on plastic ban imports coming from countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany.