|Title||China promises restrictions on plastic waste|
|Date||2018-03-09 PM 4:47:16||Hit||25|
China’s highest planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC), announced on January 5 that it is looking at further measures to reduce plastic waste pollution.
It has promised rules on plastic products that are comprehensive and detailed, as well as more bans, and an accelerated switch to less polluting materials.
There is a useful precedent in China’s 2008 restrictions on ultra-thin plastic bags, which started an effective clean-up of a once-universal form of litter. The NDRC’s new moves are expected to revise the March 2008 order, which banned bags thinner than 0.025 millimetres, and compelled retailers to charge for plastic bags.
The new measures are likely to focus on the highly visible waste packaging generated by the rise of online retail and popularity of takeaway food. These both depend on courier delivery services that have expanded the amount of plastic packaging in use since 2008, according to Wang Tao, who heads Tsinghua University’s Solid Waste Control and Utilisation Institute.
Data from the State Post Bureau shows that 31.28 billion items were sent express delivery in China in 2016, using 3.2 billion postal bags, 6.8 billion plastic bags and 330 million rolls of packing tape.
Online delivery services also generate vast quantities of plastic waste. A China Youth Daily report claims that about 20 million orders are made each day from three major online services, producing more than 60 million plastic cartons based on a typical order of three dishes or more.
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