China has revealed a major imitative that sets out to reduce single-use plastics across the country.
The National Development and Reform Commission on Sunday (19 Jan) issued new policy to be implemented over the next five years, setting out how to deal with the waste its 1.4 billion citizens create.
The country will progressively ban or restrict the production, sales and use of certain plastics while endorsing “degradable, recycle-friendly alternatives”, according to a document published by the Commission.
The document states that single-use plastic carriers will be banned cross all cities and towns in 2022, exempting markets selling fresh produce until 2025.
The production and sale of plastic bags less than 0.025mm thick will also be banned.
The Chinese commission also says the restaurant industry must reduce its use of single-use plastic by 30%, and hotels have been told that they must not offer free single-use plastic items by 2025 – it is thought this will include toiletries.
In 2008, China banned retailers from giving out free single-use plastic bags, and banned the production of ultra-thin plastic bags.
In 2017, the country announced that it would ban the import of foreign plastic waste in a move that has meant countries across the world have had to seek out alternative destinations for their waste.
In 2010 alone, China produced 60 million tonnes of plastic waste – followed by the US at 38 million tonnes – according to online publication Our World in Data based at the University of Oxford.