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