China has just announced a proposal to reduce plastic waste that has become ubiquitous in Chinese cities by banning single-use plastics in order to promote recycling and green packaging and curb their overflowing garbage dumps. The policy will ban the production and sale of disposable plastic tableware and cotton swabs by the end of 2020. Production of household products containing microbeads will be banned by the end of 2020 and sales of such products will be banned two years after that.
Single-use and non-degradable plastic bags will be banned in major Chinese cities by the end of 2020 and across the country by 2022. In addition, single-use straws will be banned by the end of 2020. By 2025 the proposal, which was introduced by both the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, would ban all single-use plastics across the country.
The phased approach will allow time for China to ramp up manufacturing of biodegradable and alternate products to replace single-use plastics. The ban comes on the heels of China announcing that it’s mega-dump, the largest in the country is full 25 years ahead of schedule. The Jiangcungou landfill in Shaanxi Province is the size of 100 football fields and was built to receive 2,500 tonnes of waste per day. Instead, the landfill received 10,000 tons of waste per day.