China Tackles Its Plastic Problem
29 Jan, 2020

Last week, Beijing unveiled an ambitious plan to reduce the country’s single-use plastics. Non-biodegradable plastic bags will be banned in major cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, by the end of 2020, and across all cities and towns by 2022. Exceptions will be made, however, for markets selling fresh produce. The catering and restaurant industry will be forced to reduce single-use plastics by 30 percent, including a ban on plastic utensils and non-biodegradable straws by the end of 2020. Separately, within five years, the hotel industry must stop offering single-use plastic items and the postal service must end the use of plastic packaging. The crackdown on plastic use and production in China incorporates timelines for various products to be phased out by the middle of the decade, first in major cities, followed by all other cities and towns, as well as rural areas.