in The end of plastic waste is a fundamental objective for any country. China produces 60 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. The government, as a result, is looking to reduce the scale of the problem, by banning single plastic products. With a population of 1.4 billion the problem is serious, and consequently is being addressed by China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
The commission recently announced a series of initiatives that it hopes will address the growing problem. These include-
- The banning of plastic bags from 2022. Fresh produce sold in markets will be exempt from the ban until 2025
- The restaurant industry must reduce the use of single use plastic items by 30% by the end of 2020
- Hotels will no longer offer free single-use plastic items by 2025
Creating a circular economy
The commission is seeking to promote greater use of recyclable, easily recyclable and degradable alternative products. It appears that their objective is based around creating a circular economy with ‘green logistics’ and a well regulated recycling industry with even more ‘smart’ recycling plants.
Special sorting stations will be created because of the large population in shopping districts, at universities and airports. Different recycling bins will be provided for use with the different types of waste. Environmentally sensitive areas such as rivers, lakes, harbours, and beaches will be subject to regular clean-ups.
China has 654 landfill sites around the country. Above all, the largest of these, Jiangcungou in Shaanxi Province, ran out of capacity in November 2019, 25 years ahead of its scheduled capacity. Designed to take 2,500 tonnes of rubbish per day it was receiving 10,000 tonnes per day.
Recent National Bureau of Statistics reveal that in 2017 China collected 215 million tonnes of urban household waste, with 125 million tonnes going into landfill. China also incinerated 80 million tonnes of material. Currently China has 290 incineration plants with a joint daily capacity of 12,500 tonnes.
Recycal and its associated companies have been long-term supporters of initiatives that reduce the supply of waste into landfill.