China announces plan to ban single-use plastic by 2022

In a move to reduce the degrading environmental consequences caused by single use plastics, China aims to reduce the sale,use and production of non-biodegradable plastics.

A new policy to reduce the use of single-use plastics has been unveiled by the National development and Reform commission of China. It aims to reduce the sale, use and production of single use plastic across the country.

China, the world largest consumer of plastics, has issued the policy that will see a ban on single use plastic bags in major cities by the end of 2020. The policy document also pushes for a ban in all cities and towns by the end of 2022. Markets selling fresh produce will be exempted till 2025, the Guardian reported.

Furthermore, by the end of 2020, the use of single used plastic straws will be banned from the restaurant industry. The industry will also have to reduce the use of all single use plastic products by 30 percent. Along with this the production of plastic bags less than 0.025mm thick will also be banned.

China produced 60 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2010 and in 2017 alone, and accumulated 215 million tonnes of urban household waste, the BBC reported.

According to the UN Environment Programme, around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced every year globally and a majority of this plastic is dumped into the environment. Single use plastic has been identified as one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges faced today.

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