China declares fight against disposable plastic, the plastic bags and straws will be banned in all major cities by the end of this year, the Ministry of the Environment and the National Development and Reform Commission announced on Sunday in Beijing. In all other places, the ban will apply from 2022. Markets where fresh products are sold should remain exempt from this regulation until 2025.
Disposable straws will also be banned in the catering trade until the end of the year. In the coming years, other plastic utensils, such as those used by food retailers and courier services, will no longer be allowed. By 2025, cities and towns across China will have to cut consumption of single-use plastic items in the hospitality industry by 30 percent.
The country is considered one of the main producers of plastic waste. The Chinese government is now banning the plastic bags. Instead, more should now be recycled.
In the world’s most populous country, huge amounts of untreated plastic waste are buried in landfills or dumped into rivers. For years, the People’s Republic even imported plastic waste on a large scale from Europe and the United States until the government in Beijing banned it in early 2018. The domestic recycling companies were instead asked to process domestic waste. The United Nations has identified single-use plastics as one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges.
China is already increasing recycling rates. To do this, dozens of “comprehensive resource use” centers are being set up to make more products recyclable.