China has issued a policy to reduce single-use plastic products. According to Reuters, the country’s state planner announced it would introduce restrictions on production, use and sale of single-use plastic products to help the environment.
The national development and reform commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced that plastic bags would be banned in major cities by the end of 2020 and banned in all towns by 2023. Produce markets would be exempt until 2025.
The country will also focus on banning plastic utensils and courier packages, with a straw ban in restaurants announced for 2020. Restaurants must stop using single-use straws by the end of 2020 and restaurant industry must reduce single-use plastics by 30% by 2025.
Additionally, by 2025 hotels cannot provide single-use plastic items and the postal service will not be allowed to use plastic packaging. The country also banned plastic waste imports, alongside the production and sale of plastic bags less than 0.025mm thick and plastic film for agricultural use that is 0.01mm thick.
China produces 29% of the world’s plastic products, according to CNN. And the World Economic Forum reports that the Yangtze River in China has more plastic pollution than any other river on the planet.
Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actionsand switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below:
- Marine Animals that are Dying because of our Plastic Habit
- Where Plastic Really Goes When You Throw it Out
- 5 Documentaries to make you Rethink Single-Use Plastics
- 6 Million Tons of Single-Use Plastics Get Thrown Out Every Year!
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