China Tackles Single-Use Plastic Pollution in Sweeping Reforms
China is taking serious action against plastic pollution by enacting new measures restricting the production, sale, and use of single-use plastics. The policy comes from the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, which declared that all plastic bags will be banned across China’s major cities by the end of 2020, and in smaller cities and towns by 2022. Markets selling fresh produce, however, won’t be forced to adhere to the ban until 2025.
The ban will also affect common plastic items like utensils, which will be slowly phased out. For example, by the end of this year the restaurant industry in China will be completely banned from using any single-use straws, and by 2025, cities across China will be required to reduce single-use plastics in restaurants by 30 percent.
In addition to tighter regulations, China is also investing in its recycling program and building more bases for resource utilization, to ensure more products are being reused in a sustainable fashion.