If you're planning to travel to China, be sure to bring your reusable bags.
People in China generally generate less plastic waste per capita than Americans, but nearly three-quarters of China's plastic waste ends up in landfills or out in the open, driving the Chinese government to announce a ban on single-use plastics nationwide by 2025.
The new guidelines also include a ban on the import of plastic waste, and the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in major cities by the end of 2020.
Other sources of plastic garbage will be banned in major coastal provinces by the end of 2022, and extend nationwide by 2025.
While past efforts to ban plastic bags in China have failed, the government says they will tackle the problem systematically this time around by also ramping up recycling efforts and promoting green packaging for express food delivery. Some delivery services in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai will be forbidden from using non-degradable packaging by 2022. The ban will extend to the whole country by 2025. The government also says it would consider blacklisting companies that don't follow the bans.
New York and California are the only US states so far with similar single-use plastic bans.
China Says It Will Ban Plastics That Pollute Its Land and Water (New York Times)
Food Delivery Apps Are Drowning China in Plastic (New York Times)
Single-use plastic: China to ban bags and other items (BBC)
Rules for plastic products aim to curb urban pollution (China Daily)
- 'Catching up with the rest of the world:' China sets bans on single-use plastic (Fortune)