No plastic bags, straws, or hotel shampoo bottles by 2025 as China embarks on journey to reduce and replace polluting material



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. Illustration: Perry Tse


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. Illustration: Perry Tse

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

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Coca-Cola Transitions To 100% Recycled Plastic In Netherlands And Norway

Drinks giant Coca-Cola is transitioning from virgin resin-based plastic to using plastic bottles made from 100 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) for their locally-produced brands in the Netherlands and Norway.

The Western European division of the beverage behemoth says the two countries join Sweden, which completed the switch in December 2019, in being able to sell products including Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta in rPET bottles. Large plastic bottles will follow in 2021, making it the second market to transition its locally produced portfolio to 100 percent rPET.

A key enabler for the switch in the Netherlands and Norway is the rapidly expanding and effective deposit return schemes operational in both countries, guaranteeing a supply to produce rPET.

“Well-designed Deposit Return Schemes can play an important role in delivering a circular economy for PET bottles at a

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Combining Satellite Data and AI for Detecting Plastic in the Oceans

The applications for the first edition of the AI Moonshot Challenge are now open. The international competition aims to boost the use of Space data, combined with Artificial Intelligence, in advancing scientific research and developing innovative solutions to societal problems.

In line with the National Strategy Portugal Space 2030, the AI Moonshot Challenge is promoted by the Portuguese Space Agency – Portugal Space in partnership with Unbabel Labs, and with the support of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Innovation Agency (ANI). 

The challenge addresses universities, research institutes, state laboratories, or companies, including startups, that combine satellite data and Artificial Intelligence to develop R&D activities to detect, track, characterize and quantify different types of plastics in the oceans, also considering rivers, lakes or potential places of origin. 

Waste identification, quantification and monitoring

“The plastics that pollute the oceans can have very

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