Beijing to ban production of non-degradable plastic items

Beijing to ban non-degradable plastic bags and single-use plastic items in key industries, aiming to further reduce plastic pollution, the city's Market Supervision Bureau announced on Wednesday, adding the ban will take effect on July 1.

The ban says that production of ultra-thin plastic shopping bags less than 0.025 millimeters thick, polyethylene agricultural mulching film less than 0.01 millimeters thick and disposable foam plastic take-out containers, as well as disposable plastic cotton swabs will all be suspended from July 1.

The food industry, retail industry and exhibition industry are the key targeted industries of the plastic ban. The ban regulated that shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, bookstores and restaurants are not allowed to provide customers non-degradable plastic bags. Take-out services are also not allowed to provide disposable, non-degradable plastic knives, forks and spoons. In addition, when serving drinks, non-degradable plastic straws like coffee-blending sticks and milk tea straws are not allowed to provide, either.

In 2007, China's State Council issued a paper to limit the use and production of plastic items, the first time the country put plastic pollution on the national agenda. In January 2020, the country once again issued paper, detailing steps to strengthen the management of plastic production and consumption from 2020 to 2025 and promising to greatly reduce urban plastic waste landfills and effectively control plastic pollution.

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