NDRC is preparing an action plan on plastic pollution control in the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) period, according to relevant personnel from the Department of Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection in NDRC, as reported by Shanghai Securities News on May 25. The action plan is expected to promote the use of scientifically verified alternative products for plastics and strengthen waste sorting and standardized recycling of plastic wastes in multiple regions.
At present, China is the world’s largest plastic producer, accounting for nearly one-third of the global plastics production, with an apparent consumption of plastics at around 80m tons, according to Sublime China Information. Following the 2008 plastic restriction, China has stepped up efforts to rectify plastic pollution issues with a set of plastic bans promoting recycling and green packaging. In 2020, NDRC issued Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution, pushing forward measures regarding the establishment of a long-term mechanism for pollution control. Specifically, disposable and non-degradable plastic bags were banned in major Chinese cities by the end of 2020, along with disposable plastic straws. This plastic ban will cover the entire country by 2022. Moreover, by 2025, all disposable plastics will be banned nationalwide based on the proposal by NDRC and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE).
The above phased approaches will allow time for China to ramp up manufacturing of biodegradable and alternative products to replace disposal plastics. According to Hua Chuang Securities, it is estimated that the future demand for degradable plastics in food delivery, express delivery, and agriculture will reach 1.55m tons, corresponding to about RMB27bn in the degradable plastic market, compared with the current market demand of 42,000 tons. Considering that, China’s biodegradable materials industry has ushered in a major development opportunity with the new plastic control policy and the zero-waste city program in China.