By Eric Ng
(11 September 2020)
China, the biggest producer of plastic waste on the planet, is poised to kick off a five-year plan to reduce and replace the pollutant, in an ambitious programme with far-reaching implications on the nation’s supply chain, while creating billions of dollars of new business opportunities.
By the year’s end, a ban will take effect on the production and sale of disposable foamed plastic tableware, straws and plastic cotton buds. Non-biodegradable plastic bags will go in phases starting this year, expanding nationwide by 2025. Hotels must stop handing out free disposal plastic products, while couriers are instructed to stop using non-biodegradable plastic packaging by 2025.
The drastic action points could not have come sooner, as China’s mountain of mismanaged, or inadequately disposed, plastic wastes – projected at 26 per cent of global total by 2025 according to scientific research cited by University of Oxford – have damaged the environment irreparably. Of the 63 million tonnes of plastic wastes China produced last year, 30 per cent were recycled, 32 per cent went into landfills, 31 per cent were burnt and 7 per cent were abandoned, according to the China National Resources Recycling Association.
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“Compared to practices in Europe and many other nations, this new policy framework is the most comprehensive in the world and will provide good reference value for other nations,” said Zhao Kai, vice-chairman of the China Association of Circular Economy (CACE), a state-backed body that supports the government’s resource conservation and environmental protection policy formulation and implementation.
China’s journey to cut plastic waste actually began in 2018, when the country that imported half of the world’s recyclable plastic refuse banned the practice, forcing waste exporters like Japan and the United States to find new ways to deal with their garbage.
Recycling supported a huge processing industry in China, from the e-waste recyclers of Guangdong province to one of the country’s wealthiest women in Nine Dragons Holdings, but took a huge toll on the environment. Left unchecked, China will have up to 17.8 million tonnes of littered plastic waste to deal with by 2025, the projection cited by Oxford shows. It’s not just China’s problem. East Asia and South Asia contributed 71 per cent of global mismanaged plastic wastes in 2015, according to the university’s data.
Plastic waste that gets into the ocean releases toxins as the material breaks down slowly. Scraps end up being eaten by seabirds, turtles and fish, while plastic fasteners often suffocate marine mammals and seabirds.
The planet’s oceans will have more plastics than fish by 2050, going by the current rate of pollution, according to a warning by the United Nations Environment Programme.
Of the 100 million tonnes of plastic waste generated by 2 billion people living within 50 kilometres from the coast, some 8 million tonnes of plastics – equivalent to the amount carried by a garbage truck every minute – enters the ocean annually, according to Washington-based non-profit organisation Ocean Conservancy. This adds to an estimated 150 million tonnes already circulating the marine environment.
Global plastic pollution is accelerated by decades of rising consumerism, urbanisation and recently by the coronavirus pandemic that drove up plastic packaging used in online shopping and takeaway food consumption
This News hash been reales by sg.news.yahoo.com dengan judul “Kisaku dorong Program Sustainability”,
Penulis: Gloria Fransisca Katharina Lawi
Editor : Mia Chitra Dinisari