China's Hainan province bans disposable plastic products

A view of Sanya Bay in Hainan province. -

HAIKOU (Xinhua): Disposable plastic bags and tableware that are non-degradable have been banned from production, sale and use starting Tuesday (Dec 1) in China's island province of Hainan.

According to a regulation that took effect Tuesday, the first batch of banned items include disposable plastic bags, packaging bags, meal boxes, bowls, drink cups and straws made from non-biodegradable polymers.

Hainan announced the ban in February as part of an effort to cut white pollution in the province, which has been designated as a national ecological civilisation pilot zone.

Starting in August, the province launched a pilot programme on phasing out single-use non-degradable plastic products in places such as Party and government organizations, state-owned enterprises, schools, tourist attractions, big supermarkets and hospitals.

Hainan has also been cultivating and developing eco-friendly substitutes for non-degradable plastic products. It is expected to form a complete industrial chain of fully biodegradable materials and products between 2022 and 2023.

Currently, seven enterprises in the province are able to produce fully biodegradable plastics. By year-end, their production capacity of biodegradable plastic films and bags is set to hit 32,000 tonnes a year, while that of tableware would reach 11,000 tonnes a year.

China in January released a plan to ban or significantly reduce the production and use of environmentally-unfriendly plastic products in the next five years to contain pollution.

By 2025, China expects to effectively control plastic pollution, substantially reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills of key cities, establish a complete plastics management system and make progress in the development of alternative products, according to the plan.

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