On August 21, the official website of Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission issued the Implementation Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution. It restricts businesses to providing or using non-degradable disposable products.
The rule will be implemented from September 1, 2020 and will be valid for 5 years.
By the end of 2020:
The canteens of government organs, institutions and state-owned enterprises in Guangdong Province take the lead in stopping the use of non degradable disposable plastic tableware. The use of non degradable disposable plastic straws is prohibited in the catering industry throughout the province, and non degradable disposable plastic tableware is not allowed to be provided to customers actively. Non-degradable disposable plastic tableware is prohibited for the in-room catering services in municipal level (and above) urban areas and scenic spots.
The use of non-degradable disposable plastic tableware is prohibited for catering services in county-level areas and scenic spots.
The consumption intensity of non degradable disposable plastic tableware shall decrease by more than 30% in the field of catering delivery in cities above prefecture level. Areas where conditions permit are encouraged to stop using non degradable disposable plastic tableware when providing packaged take-out services in the catering industry.
In hot summer, drink shops are popular among the citizens in Foshan. How well can businesses and customers in Foshan handle the ban? A11 Mall (Bo Dun Cheng) is one of the popular hangout places in Chancheng. There are many drink shops in that area. Up to July, all those shops were still using plastic straws. No alternatives could be seen. These tea shops all provided free plastic straws. They put a box of plastic straws near the counter. All customers could take them free of charge. A lemon tea shop on Jianxin Road in Chancheng said at the moment they haven’t got any notice about the straws from relevant authorities, but if other drink shops change the plastic straws into paper ones, they will do the same.
From September 1, 2020, China will implement the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes. Those who fail to comply with the national regulations on prohibiting and restricting the use of non-degradable plastic bags and other disposable plastic products will be fined 10,000 to 100,000 yuan.
What do the customers feel about this? Do paper straws work as well as plastic straws when there are bubbles or pulps in the drink? Some people expressed their opinions.
Most consumers understand and support the ban on plastic straws, and a few consumers are concerned about alternatives. When having hot drinks, there’s concern about paper straws becoming soft.
Some shops have already taken the initiative. A coffee shop in Lingnan Tiandi has replaced the plastic straws with paper straws. Some customers don’t think paper straws are environmentally friendly enough either, as paper is made from trees. They hope businesses can find more environmentally friendly alternatives.
In a McDonald’s restaurant on Jihua 5th Road, Chancheng, plastic straws are no longer provided. Starbucks, which was one step earlier in action, banned plastic straws at the end of last year and switched to paper straws instead. At Starbucks (A11 Mall branch), all consumers in the shop use paper straws. On the food delivery platform, some restaurants have also added the option of "replace plastic straws with paper straws".
For the alternative to plastic straws, in Foshan many environmental protection supporters have already taken action by bringing their own cups or straws when they go out. They bring their own cups to get drinks. And as their cup is retractable and foldable, it does not take up much space and it’s easy to carry. Now on the e-commerce platform, there are businesses producing straws made of stainless steel, bamboo, silicone and other materials for consumers to choose from.
By the end of 2020:
The canteens of Party and government organs, public institutions and state-owned enterprises in Guangdong Province take the lead in stopping the use of non degradable plastic bags. In shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, bookstores and other places in urban areas of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as catering package delivery services and various exhibition activities, the use of non degradable plastic bags will be prohibited, and the use of non degradable plastic bags will be standardized and restricted in the market.
The scope of implementation will be extended to all urban areas of cities above prefecture level and areas of coastal cities and counties.
The use of non degradable plastic bags will be prohibited in the markets in the above-mentioned areas. Areas where conditions permit are encouraged to stop using non-degradable plastic bags in places such as urban-rural junctions, towns and rural markets.
In daily life, plastic bags seem to be everywhere. The local wet markets are "the hardest hit area."
At the vegetable market on Pujun Xi Road, a lady was holding a bag of peaches in her left hand, and 3 plastic bags in her right hand, each containing apples, bananas and mangoes, plus a large bag holding the 3 plastic bags on the outside. 5 plastic bags have been used here. At the Jiancun Market in Chancheng District, anther lady who was buying lettuce tore off three plastic bags, saying that she was afraid that the bags were too small to fit. Almost all the citizens coming out of the market were carrying plastic bags of various sizes.
In urban restaurants, markets, supermarkets, etc., most businesses provide customers with plastic bags and disposable plastic tableware for free.
There is a fast food restaurant with steamed rice on Tongfu Street in Chancheng District. The staff needs to pack 50 or 60 plastic lunch boxes every work day and use the same number of plastic bags. The staff says if plastic bags are not allowed to be used in the future, we may use paper bags or eco-friendly bags. The customers are mostly office workers and residents nearby. Some people will bring their own tableware to pack meals. In front of a pork stall at the market on Pujun Xi Road, within 10 minutes 8 customers checked out all using plastic bags provided by the stall owner for free. "Other stalls do the same. If the plastic bags are charged, I am afraid that customers will not come." The pork stall owner roughly calculated that 200 plastic bags would be used every day. "You can weigh and carry things out as soon as you put them in a plastic bag. It is convenient and time-saving for merchants and customers." The proprietress of the grain and oil store in Jiancun Market believes that plastic bags are popular because they are convenient.
Different from the local wet markets, in supermarkets and shopping malls plastic bags are charged. Maxwell Supermarket in Foshan has replaced all shopping bags with biodegradable plastic bags. In Wal-Marts, non-woven bags and plastic bags are placed in front of the checkout counters for customers to choose from. The price of non-woven bags is 6 yuan, and ordinary plastic bags are 0.3 yuan.
By the end of 2022:
Star-rated hotels, hotels and other places in Guangdong Province are not allowed to provide disposable plastic products, but can provide relevant services by setting up self-service purchasing machines and providing continuous filling detergent etc.
By the end of 2025:
The implementation scope will be extended to all hotels, and B&B.
At the end of 2022, non degradable plastic packaging bags will be banned in postal express delivery throughout the province
By the end of 2020:
The proportion of tape packaging with a width of 45 mm and below in postal express outlets in Guangdong province will be increased to more than 90%, and the proportion of tape-free cartons will be increased to more than 10%.
The use of non degradable plastic packaging bags and disposable plastic woven bags will be prohibited in the postal express outlets of Guangdong Province, so as to reduce the use of non degradable plastic tape and increase the application ratio of tape-free cartons to more than 15%.
The use of non-degradable plastic tape will be prohibited in postal express outlets in Guangdong province, and the application rate of tape-free cartons will be increased to more than 20%.
According to the Implementation Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution, the production and sale of ultra-thin plastic shopping bags with a thickness of less than 0.025 mm and polyethylene agricultural mulch film with a thickness of less than 0.01 mm will be prohibited in Guangdong Province. It is forbidden to use medical waste as raw materials to make plastic products; it is forbidden to use recycled waste plastic infusion bags (bottles) for original purposes or to make catering containers, toys and other children's products. Supervision of the imported garbage will be intensified to ensure the implementation of the comprehensive ban on the import of waste plastics.
By the end of 2020:
It is forbidden to produce and sell disposable foamed plastic tableware and disposable plastic cotton swabs, or to produce daily chemical products containing plastic micro beads.
By the end of 2022:
It will be forbidden to sell household chemical products containing plastic micro beads. The national Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog and Negative Market Access List clearly state that it is forbidden to invest in the plastic products projects that belong to the category of elimination; those belonging to the restricted category are prohibited to be produce.
By 2022, the production capacity of degradable plastic raw materials will reach more than 200,000 tons
Implementation Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution suggests speeding up the popularization and application of alternative products and models. Government organs, institutions, state-owned enterprises and other units in Guangdong Province should take the lead in using degradable plastic products or non plastic products. In shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, bookstores and other places, the use of environmental friendly cloth bags, paper bags and other non plastic products and degradable shopping bags should be promoted and the installation of self-service and intelligent delivery devices should be encouraged. Degradable packaging films (bags) for fresh products should be used in shopping malls and supermarkets.
Markets are going to adopt the centralized purchase and sale system for shopping bags, and gradually stop individual merchants from providing free plastic shopping bags to consumers. In the field of food delivery, alternative products that meet the performance and food safety requirements such as bio-based products like plant fiber lunch boxes and degradable plastic bags will be promoted.
Postal express outlets and express companies are proposed to use environmentally friendly packaging such as electronic waybills and environmentally friendly boxes (bags), tapes, and fillers. Senders are also encouraged to use degradable and recyclable environmentally friendly packaging.
The issued document also proposes that the intelligent recycling terminal facilities such as express packaging and take-out meal boxes should be put in the delivery concentrated areas such as communities, business districts and universities.
supports the plastic production enterprises in speeding up the implementation of technological transformation, closely following the market demand, and improving the research and development and production capacity of advanced environmentally friendly plastic technologies. By 2022, the production capacity of degradable plastic raw materials will reach more than 200,000 tons, which can basically meet the production demand of degradable plastic products in the province. By 2025, the production capacity of degradable plastic raw materials will be increased to more than 500,000 tons, and 5 to 10 degradable plastic raw materials and product industry demonstration bases will be built.