Guangdong recently announced a new policy aimed at stemming the tide of plastic waste in the province.
Titled ‘Implementation Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution,’ the guidelines were released on August 21 by the Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission.
The policy will go into effect starting September 1 and last for five years.
The new measures will phase out a wide range of single-use plastics such as plastic straws, bags and tableware as well as plastic used for takeout and express delivery services.
By year-end, Guangdong’s catering industry will be prohibited from using non-degradable disposable plastic straws and cannot offer customers single-use plastic tableware.
Also, by the end of 2020, the use and sale of non-degradable plastic bags shall be forbidden in shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies and bookstores, among other places within the city limits of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
The ban on non-degradable plastic bags would also be in effect for waimai containers.
Environmentally friendly cloth bags, paper bags and other non-plastic options will be heavily promoted, while shoppers currently still need to pay a fee for plastic bags.
So, now seems as good a time as any to invest in a trusty cloth shopping bag and do your bit for the environment.
Back in January, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued nationwide policy, calling on the phasing out of the production and use of numerous single-use plastic items over the next 5 years.
Guangdong appears to be taking a strong stance in addressing plastic waste as more and more local F&B venues have reduced their dependency on plastic.
Since 2018, notable restaurants and bars in Guangzhou and Shenzhen have ditched single-use plastic straws, and opted for biodegradable paper straws and reusable bamboo straws, among other environmentally friendly practices.
[Cover image via Unsplash]