It’s a new decade – and China, for one, doesn’t plan to end it as a top contributor to the world’s pollution problem. At least, not when it comes to single-use plastic bags.
They plan to include plastic plates, cutlery, and straws in the ban as well.
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The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission detailed the plan, which includes the complete ban of non-degradable plastic bags in every major city in the country, with plans to expand to every city and town by 2022.
They’re providing exceptions to markets selling fresh products until 2025.
The government expects the hospitality industry to get on board by the same year, with restaurants stopping the use of plastic straws and cutlery, as well as reducing their other single-use plastic items by 30%. Hotels will operate under the same expectations.
Currently, China produces around 60 million tons of plastic waste every year, far and away the largest plastic polluter in the world. The U.S. is next on the list, throwing out 38 million tons of plastic per year – which, in case you’re not into math, means each person in the States creates almost 3x as much plastic pollution as each person in China.
China is also one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of plastics, and plans to expand its environmentally conscious approach to that area, as well: they’ve decided to no longer produce products that are less than 0.025mm thick. In a less environmental move, China no longer imports plastic recyclables from other countries, which has made it very difficult for recycling to maintain its cost efficiency in the United States.
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The FIRST baby leatherback turtle born in 2020 🥚🐢 after plastic ban in Thailand Thai citizens have been in full support of the single-use plastic ban campaign since the start of the year, and we deserve some celebrations 🥂for this small victory in protecting ocean lives — a rare baby leatherback turtle successfully hatched in Phang Nga province, under the close watch and protection from the officials at Khao Lam Pi – Hat Thai Mueang National Park. The impact of one single action is often more far-reaching than how we imagine it to be 🦋 Together we can make change happen! #gogreenfortheplanet เต่าทะเลมีจำนวนลดลงโดยเฉพาะขยะพลาสติกในทะเล แต่โพสต์นี้เป็นพิเศษ เมื่อไหร่จะมีข่าวดีนะคะ ลูกเต่ามะเฟืองตัวแรก ของปี 2563 คลานขึ้นจากหลุม ซึ่งมาจากแม่เต่าตัวแรกที่พบ วางไข่ในรอบ 6 ปี 🥚🐢 รณรงค์เรื่องขยะพลาสติกและมลภาวะในทะเลกันอย่างคึกคักช่วงนี้ #gogreenfortheplanet เพราะการแก้ปัญหาสิ่งแวดล้อม ลำพังจิตสำนึกอย่างเดียวไม่พอ ต้องอาศัยเครื่องมือหลายอย่าง และต้องลงมือทำกันทุกภาคส่วนค่ะ 📷: @seetanubungalows, Chiang Rai Times #leatherbackturtle #gogreen #saveourocean #bansingleuseplastic #sustainableliving #zerowastegoals #protectnature #zerowastethailand #plasticban #ecothailand
Let’s be honest – the average person doesn’t need to use plastic bags at the grocery store or get a straw and plastic silverware every time they order takeout. There are simple workarounds that people choose not to use because they’re lazy and plastic is convenient.
If this proves anything, it’s that the government is going to have to step in – because regular people aren’t going to voluntarily make their own lives slightly harder, even for the good of the planet.
At least, not in high enough numbers to really make a difference.