On November 27, a session of the Standing Committee of the 15th Beijing Municipal People’s Congress declared that Beijing will enforce a citywide mandatory household garbage sorting system starting from May 2020, following similar moves in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
According to local authorities, the city’s 21 million residents produces nearly 26,000 metric tons of domestic waste every day, with more than 86% of which was poured into incineration and landfill sites last year. While Beijing has had various trash sorting projects since 1998, Xinhua reports that a recent official survey showed only 20% of sampled residents can accurately sort waste.
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Based on the domestic waste management regulation, which took effect in 2012, the new amendments see more emphasis on individual responsibilities. Along with a fine of up to RMB200 for individuals failing to sort the trash correctly, education and guidance will be provided through community service, and compulsory teaching on waste reduction, classification and processing will be included in the curriculum for kindergarten, primary and secondary schools.
Domestic garbage will be sorted into four categories – kitchen waste, recyclables, hazardous waste and other – and large items, which include discarded furniture and household appliances, should be delivered to designated locations for processing.
The regulation also calls for more electronic bills and recyclable boxes in the e-commerce industry and banning the usage of super-thin or free plastic bags. Offices are encouraged to go paperless, and those in the service sector should stop offering disposable items unless customers ask. Businesses may face a fine of RMB5,000 to RMB50,000 depending on the severity of the violations.
[Cover image via Unsplash]