China has announced it will be banning single-use and non-degradable bags as well as single-use straws. Although figures are hard to come by, it is thought that, globally, China is the largest producer of plastic waste, with much ending up in landfill sites.
The National Development and Reform Commission issued the new policy on January 19th, 2020, and said it will be implemented over the next five years. It states that plastic bags will be banned across all cities and towns in 2022, though markets selling fresh produce will be exempt until 2025.
The production and sale of plastic bags that are less than 0.025mm thick will also be banned. The restaurant industry must reduce the use of single-use plastic items by 30 percent. Hotels have been told that they must not offer free single-use plastic items by 2025.
Elsewhere, China’s forestry commission is clamping down on corruption and illegally-felled wood. It is thought that much of that which is illegally logged in South East Asian countries ends up in China.
Read more about China’s recycling ambitions