China issues drastic guidelines to curb plastics plague

China issues drastic guidelines to curb plastics plague
Published: 22 January 2020 - 7 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
The Chinese government has introduced drastic measures to cut the amount of disposable plastic items that are blighting its land and oceans.

Among the new guidelines are bans on the import of plastic waste and the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in major cities by the end of this year.

Other sources of plastic garbage will be banned in Beijing, Shanghai, and coastal provinces by the end of 2022, and that rule will extend nationwide by late 2025.

“Consumption of plastic products, especially single-use items, has been consistently rising,” said an explanation accompanying the new guidelines, which were released on Sunday by the environment ministry and China’s chief industrial planning agency.

There needs to be stronger comprehensive planning and a systematic rollout to clean up plastic pollution.

The production and sale of disposable foam plastic tableware and plastic cotton swabs will be banned by the end of this year, according to the document, jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

The production of household chemicals containing plastic microbeads will be prohibited by the end of this year, it said.

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