One small step by the government, a giant leap for the country
The Chinese movement has found a solution to address the escalating problem of plastics pollution by 2025, which includes a much needed bold step – Implementing a ban on the single-use plastic straws and bags.
In the press conference, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that the production and the use of single-use plastic should be gradually phased out by the middle of the decade. The detailed policy had a mention of the plastics they are planning to rule out first with an expected timeline. The metropolitan cities may witness the transition sooner than in rural areas as the implementation set up shall take some time. The report mentioned that all the plastics products used by the catering/restaurants should be made obsolete by the end of 2020, while the non-degradable straws will be unavailable nationwide. The Government is emphasizing more and more on biodegradable cutlery products, which one can consume along with their food.
The report plans to implement its strategy periodically, which means that if plastic cutleries in the restaurant are phased out by 2020, the takeaway counters shall be abolishing the same by 2025. Similarly, single-use plastic in most of the cities shall be banned from 2020, but the villages shall see the implementation early in 2022. However, by the end of 2025, all restaurants- whether dine-in or take away shall have the privilege of using single-use plastic-based cutleries. Furthermore, no postal service provider shall be allowed to pack their items in a plastic wrapping.
With an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic wastes being dumped into the ocean every year, plastic debris has an extremely negative impact on the world’s flora and fauna. China, to date, produces more than 29% of the world’s plastic products tuning them to the largest plastic manufacturer in the world ( as described in 2019 by Columbia University and Zhejiang University).
As the Country is the place that produces the maximum amount of plastic wastes annually, pieces of literature have pointed out that China’s Yangtse river carries the highest amount of plastic waste as compared to any other river system in the world.
The fight to curb the plastic pollution by China was on its trot when the Government stated that the Country should not accept any plastic waste from an outside source for recycling. Apart from the ban, China has also announced that it shall promote the use of recycled plastic much more than new plastic material. The document, in its conclusion, stated that ‘cracking down on plastic pollution was important for people’s health and to build a beautiful China.’
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.