New drive to promote recycling across the densely populated country

According to a recently released proposal, China’s Commerce Department has requested that all restaurants, e-commerce platforms and shipping companies are to report the use of disposable plastics to authorities. In addition, they must all submit a formal recycling plan in a new bid to increase recycling.

The average person living in China produces about half the solid waste of the average American. However, it has a much larger population. As a result, China is one of the world’s largest users of plastics.

China is also struggling to dispose of its waste and is lax when it comes to recycling. In fact, the country’s largest dump (about 100 football stadium sizes) is already full, almost 25 years ahead of schedule. According to Oxford University’s publication Our World in Data, in 2010 the country dumped 60 million tonnes of plastic waste.

A new initiative to recycle and reuse.

Other initiatives are also coming into place in China by the end of the year, to curb the use of disposable plastic products including:

  • a nationwide ban on disposable plastic straws
  • a big city ban on disposable plastic bags and tableware

The ban “solves only the most visible types of plastic pollution,” said Wang Wang, chairman of the China Scrap Plastics Association, according to Reuters, adding that it is only part of the waste effort.

China introduces bans on plastic agri-waste

The government also banned the use of certain agricultural plastic films used by farmers to keep crops warm and moist. They utilise about 1.5 million tonnes of this plastic film annually, leaving behind soil-damaging residues.

Antoine Grange, chief executive for recycling at SUEZ Asia, said the bans were welcome but China needs to improve its entire recycling capability.

Article originally written by Reuters