China is one of the major contributors to the global plastic pollution. From plastic sitting in landfills to plastic bags dangling from trees, this is a huge environmental issue that requires urgent and drastic measures.
The Chinese government seems to be well-aware of this so they’ve recently announced measures to reduce disposable plastic that is littering the environment.
Their goal is to prohibit the single-use plastic bags, cutlery, and straws in their biggest cities by the end of this year as well as all plastic garbage sources in Beijing, Shanghai, and other wealthy provinces by the end of 2022.
Plastic Use Continues Rising despite Known Negative Impact
According to the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, the usage of plastic and plastic products has been exponentially growing.
So, there’s a need of stronger and comprehensive plans and systematic decisions to clean the plastic waste.
For businesses, this will mean that they won’t provide plastic straws and that they’ll need to reduce their single-use plastic by 30 percent this year.
By the year of 2025, the goal is to no longer have single-use plastics in hotel rooms.
China produces more than 60 million tons of plastic waste per year. And, they’re the largest polluter with the US slightly behind with 38 million tons.
China Has other Measures for Tackling Plastic Overuse
This planned ban on single-use plastic is only one of the initiatives taken by Chinese government to reduce their plastic pollution.
As of 2018, they don’t allow the import of plastics and other recyclables from other countries. In 2008, they made the production of ultra-thin plastic bags illegal.
For years, the country has been struggling with the plastic waste generated by 1.4 billion citizens produce. The biggest garbage site in the country is the size of approximately 100 football fields.
In 2017, they collected 215 million tones of household waste; however, the figures for the recycling amounts aren’t available.
Other Asian Countries Are also Making Efforts
China isn’t the sole Asian country to have started a fight against plastic pollution.
Earlier this year, Thailand announced a ban on plastic bags in major stores and a planned complete ban in the whole country by 2021.
Moreover, the capital of Indonesia has also prohibited single-use plastic bags in supermarkets, department stores, and markets by June this year.
Bali, the Indonesian island, has successfully banned single use plastic.