11 February 2020
It’s been two years already since China announced that it will no longer accept imports of plastic and paper waste....
It’s been two years already since China announced that it will no longer accept imports of plastic and paper waste. The news was quite a shock at that time since the country was the world’s biggest importer of single-use plastic waste coming from developed countries such as the United States.
Although China’s announcement made developed countries face the challenges of dealing with their own trash, it is a measure that had to be taken sooner or later. In fact, China’s decision only led to good changes since several nations have since announced a series of initiatives to reduce their use of plastic as a strategy to deal with the mountains of waste.
Now, China shocks again with, perhaps, the boldest action of all developed countries: the country will stop the production and sale of all single-use plastic bags, straws, and other similar utensils in all its major cities. Moreover, China also pledged to cut all disposable plastic by 2025, producing only bioplastic that can be composted.
Even if China’s bold initiative doesn’t fully succeed by 2025, getting even halfway there by that time would be a major positive change for our planet. Yet, the Chinese government must truly make the efforts to build the infrastructure for industrial composting of bioplastic. Otherwise, the country will get rid of one trash problem only to replace it with another.
China’s announcement is a lesson that the US should be paying a lot of attention to. Especially since the US’s disposable plastic habit is second only to China’s. Instead of focusing on outdated ideas such as finding better waste recycling strategies, the US should also think about what will it do with it after. So, China is winning the war on plastic by simply no longer producing it in the first place.
China is teaching US a lesson in the fight against plastic waste