Both the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment has announced that China will ban plastic bags in all of China’s major cities by the end of THIS year. By 2022, they will be banned in all towns and cites in China.
Unfortunately, fresh produce markets willl be exempt from the ban until 2025.
Furthermore, the commission states that all towns and cities in China must reduce the consumption of single-use plastic items in the restaurant industry by 30% in the next five years.
But what about the rest of the plastic China produces? In a 2010 study conducted by Jenna Jambeck, an assistant professor of environment engineering at the University of Georgia, China is reported to dump between 1.3 million and 3.5 million tons of plastic waste into the ocean each year.
According to SCMP, China is responsible for producing one third of the plastic waste polluting our oceans.
Back in 2008, China implemented a nationwide ban on retailers distributing bags free of charge, so now it seems they are taking it a step further. But is it enough?
How about the plastic products and packaging they export? When will that be phased out?
Sources: South China Morning Post, BBC News, NY Times