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Doing a good job makes people respect and contribute with great honor

Non degradable plastic products will be withdrawn from the built-up area of Beijing

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The vegetables bought in the supermarket are conveniently packed into the cloth bags you carry with you; After the courier delivers your package, carefully pack the package and continue to use it; Traveling and staying in a hotel, taking out your own slippers and putting them on... These ideal environmentally friendly lifestyles will be the future of Beijing.

The vegetables bought in the supermarket are conveniently packed into the cloth bags you carry with you; After the courier delivers your package, carefully pack the package and continue to use it; Traveling and staying in a hotel, taking out your own slippers and putting them on... These ideal environmentally friendly lifestyles will be the future of Beijing.
On December 24th, the "Beijing Plastic Pollution Control Action Plan (2020 2025)" (hereinafter referred to as the "10 Plastic Restrictions") was officially released. According to the plan, by 2025, the Beijing built-up area will basically bid farewell to non degradable plastic bags; The six major industries, including catering, delivery platforms, wholesale and retail, and e-commerce express delivery, have become the focus of plastic reduction.
Some experts say that the convenience and ultra-low price of plastic products make their use infinitely enlarged. In fact, in many cases, it is not necessary to use them. Replacing with degradable plastic products cannot fully achieve the goal of plastic restriction. Establishing a plastic product recycling system may be another feasible approach.
Focus 1: Excessive use of plastic products still exists
There are many plastic products in the trash cans now. Although kitchen waste has started to be thrown naked after garbage classification, there are still many plastic bags in other garbage. "Jiang Xiuping, a volunteer in the fresh community of Chaoyangmen Street in Dongcheng District, started to" watch the trash "in November last year. Based on her work experience, she believes that a dedicated device for collecting plastic products can be set up.
In mid November 2020, Beijing publicly solicited opinions on the "10 plastic restrictions". Journalists visited multiple supermarkets, cafes, and express delivery points in Beijing and found that plastic products that were not previously included in the ban list, such as roll bags and express fillers, still had excessive use.
For example, at the Chongwen store of Wumart Supermarket, a woman walked up to the roll wrap bag, tore off a few bags and put them directly into the shopping cart, but did not purchase any fruits or vegetables. At the Huixin store of Wumart Supermarket, each table where fruits and vegetables are stored is equipped with two to three roll up bags. Some customers do not want to get their hands dirty when purchasing goods, so they use the roll up bags as gloves.
As an older generation, Zhao Fenrong is accustomed to carrying a cloth bag to buy vegetables. "It's convenient, even if it's dirty, it can still be used for washing." This is also Wang Shuxiang's habit. She lives in the Beili community of Guangqumen and has also used biodegradable plastic bags distributed by the community. "That kind of bag is thicker. If the plastic bags are too thin, they will be used more
This "no waste" lifestyle concept is gradually infiltrating into young people.
No. 27, Interior Department Street, Chaoyangmen Street, Dongcheng District is a popular courtyard on the internet. In 2020, four offline activities of "waste free living" have been held here. There is a wall in the courtyard with an inverted pyramid shaped concept map of waste management and waste classification, allowing visitors to intuitively understand the significance of source reduction. Auntie Zhang, who participated in the activity, said that a waste free life is about hard work, simplicity, reuse, and frugality. "We used to live like this, but instead, young people should come and study hard
Focus 2: Beijing's early start of plastic restriction and high standards still need to strengthen management
The plastic restriction action in Beijing started very early.
In 1999, Beijing issued and implemented the "Management Measures for Restricting the Sale and Use of Plastic Bags and Disposable Plastic Tableware in Beijing", which explicitly prohibited the use of plastic bags with a thickness of less than 0.025 millimeters in the sale and operation.
On November 20th, at Suning Green Express, staff dragged reusable logistics package bags.
The standard for this plastic bag has not changed.
On June 1, 2008, a nationwide "plastic restriction order" was implemented, stating that all supermarkets, shopping malls, and markets are not allowed to provide free plastic shopping bags. At the same time, it is prohibited to produce, sell, or use plastic shopping bags with a thickness of less than 0.025 millimeters.
At the beginning of 2020, this standard was still used in the "Opinions on Further Strengthening Plastic Pollution Control" issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, as well as the latest "10 Plastic Restrictions" issued by Beijing.
However, the Zero Waste Alliance, jointly initiated by Chinese public welfare organizations and environmentalists, conducted a "Ten Year Plastic Order" survey in 2018. Through searching e-commerce platforms, they found that almost all plastic bag wholesale stores sold illegal plastic bags, including single-layer 0.015mm and 0.02mm plastic bags. Xie Xinyuan, the policy director of the Zero Waste Alliance, believes that Beijing should strengthen management to prevent the influx of illegal disposable plastic products from other places.
Both the new and old versions of the "Regulations on the Management of Domestic Waste" in Beijing have put forward requirements for plastic reduction.
The 2012 version proposed that units and individuals should reduce or refrain from using disposable items according to regulations, and encourage the listing of clean vegetables; The 2020 version proposes to prohibit the use of non degradable disposable plastic straws in the catering industry throughout the city, and to prohibit the use of non degradable plastic bags for takeout services (including on-site food packaging) in built-up areas.
Party and government agencies and public institutions are leading the way in reducing plastic production and waste reduction. In 2019, Zhang Jiaming, Vice Mayor of Beijing, proposed in a report to the Standing Committee of the Municipal People's Congress that party and government agencies and public institutions should prohibit the use of disposable items. At that time, the reporter visited multiple government agencies and found that the vast majority were already in execution.
In the Beijing "10 Plastic Restrictions" released this time, this item has been further strengthened, requiring all levels of party and government agencies and units in the city to reduce the use of disposable neutral pens and other plastic office supplies. Government cafeterias are prohibited from providing non degradable disposable plastic tableware and cups. Plastic bottled drinking water and disposable plastic cups are not allowed to be provided voluntarily for various meetings. Participants are encouraged to bring their own drinking cups.
Focus 3: Too many responsible parties make policy implementation difficult
Until now, plastic products still face overuse and difficulties in handling, for many reasons.
The biggest problem is excessive waste and use, which is due to the extreme convenience brought by plastic products and the ultra-low prices brought about by industrial civilization promotion methods, making its use infinitely enlarged. In many cases, it is not necessary to use it, and it can be completely avoided. "said Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary General of the China Green Development Association.
Extreme convenience has led to the abuse of plastic products, and excessive use of subjects has resulted in some measures not being implemented effectively.
For example, Beijing's "plastic limit of 10 pieces" encourages delivery platforms to set options such as "no utensils required" in the ordering process and provide rewards in the form of points. Encourage delivery platforms to increase their publicity efforts, establish a positive image of actively reducing the use of disposable plastic lunch boxes (utensils), and catering enterprises fulfilling their ecological and environmental responsibilities, and guide consumers to choose through measures such as issuing "exclusive green coupons" on the platform.
Among them, "reusable lunch boxes" are considered a good way by many experts, and some recycling systems have been designed. For example, the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system and the deposit system.
On November 20th, at Suning Green Express, biodegradable packaging bags were printed with the words "fully biodegradable packaging bags".
The EPR system refers to a system that extends the resource and environmental responsibility of producers for their products from the production process to the entire lifecycle of product design, circulation and consumption, recycling, waste disposal, and other aspects. In December 2016, the General Office of the State Council issued the "Implementation Plan for the Extended Producer Responsibility System", which took the lead in determining the implementation of the extended producer responsibility system for four categories of products, including electrical and electronic products, automobiles, lead-acid batteries, and packaging materials.
But in the express delivery and delivery industries, implementation is quite challenging.
The team led by Professor Wen Zongguo from the School of Environment at Tsinghua University has conducted detailed research on plastic pollution control in the takeout industry, tracking the whereabouts of tens of thousands of takeout lunch boxes. EPR needs to have a clear understanding of who the producer is and who the responsibility belongs to. The uniqueness of the takeout industry lies in the lack of knowledge of who the responsibility belongs to, making it difficult to clearly define who the producer is. There are too many subjects responsible for the environment, can we say that this responsibility belongs to the manufacturer of the food box? "Said Zhang Yuting, a doctoral student. The impact of takeout food boxes on the environment is a whole process, not only the step of losing the food box, but also the front-end production and use of the food box There are potential environmental risks associated with waste disposal. Throughout the entire process, there are multiple entities, from front-end production to delivery platforms, to the transportation system, even the delivery guys, to every consumer and back-end recycling enterprise, each entity should take responsibility.
Sun Wei's company has been doing express delivery circular packaging for many years. As soon as the product reaches the user's hands, the express box is taken away by the user. If a deposit is not collected when purchasing at the source, the loss rate is very high, around 60%, and cannot continue
Focus 1: Suggest setting reduction targets for the six major industries of plastic reduction
Beijing has introduced "10 plastic restrictions". In addition to prohibiting and restricting the production and sales of some plastic products, the regulations also focus on six key industries, including catering, delivery platforms, wholesale and retail, e-commerce and express delivery, accommodation and exhibition, and agricultural production, to strengthen plastic reduction efforts and strictly control the leakage of disposable plastic products into the natural environment.
In terms of catering, by the end of 2020, the city's catering industry will prohibit the use of non degradable disposable plastic straws; The use of non degradable plastic bags is prohibited for takeout services in built-up areas (including food packaging); The use of non degradable disposable plastic tableware is prohibited for dining services in built-up areas and scenic spots. By the end of June next year, the catering industry in the city will prohibit the use of non degradable disposable plastic coffee stirring rods.
In terms of wholesale and retail, by the end of 2020, shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, bookstores and other retail stores in the built-up area (including retail delivery services provided by stores or e-commerce) are prohibited from using non degradable plastic bags, and the use of non degradable plastic bags is regulated and restricted in the market. Encourage the exploration and gradual implementation of clearly marking the price of plastic roll up bags and separately charging the price of plastic roll up bags outside of the product price, and guide consumers to reduce the use of plastic roll up bags.
In terms of accommodation, starting from May 2020, hotels throughout the city are not allowed to voluntarily provide six types of disposable items. By the end of 2025, according to the implementation situation, the scope of not actively providing disposable supplies will be gradually expanded, and the implementation scope will be expanded to rural homestays. Encourage the provision of related services through the establishment of self-service purchasing machines and the provision of refillable cleaning agents.
Multiple environmental protection organizations have highly praised Beijing's "10 plastic restrictions", among which Yao Jia, a catalyst for pen, believes that this is a "phased ban on plastic production, and by 2025, non degradable plastic bags will not be used.
Xie Xinyuan further explained that in 2018, they conducted a survey of 200 stores in Beijing and found that although various merchants do not provide free plastic shopping bags, they often use other types of disposable plastic to replace them, such as using continuous roll flat mouth bags for bulk fresh food, fresh food bags for preservation, and so on.
Establishing a reporting system for key plastic units is a major highlight of the '10 plastic restrictions', but if there is no supporting guarantee of regulations or rules, or the regulations are not specific enough, it is likely that they will not be implemented in place, "Xie Xinyuan said.
Focus 2: Degradable technology has matured and cost reduction is key
Another important measure of the "10 plastic limit" is to use biodegradable plastic products as substitutes.
For example, the catering industry prohibits the use of non degradable disposable plastic straws and coffee stirring rods; The use of non degradable plastic bags is prohibited for takeout services in built-up areas (including food packaging); The use of non degradable disposable plastic tableware is prohibited for dining services in built-up areas and scenic spots. Replace non degradable plastic bags with reusable shopping bags. By the end of 2025, the use of non degradable plastic bags will be prohibited in the market of the built-up area.
The biodegradable plastics we are referring to now are all biodegradable and fully biodegradable plastics, "emphasized Weng Yunxuan, Dean of the School of Chemistry and Materials Engineering at Beijing Business University and Secretary General of the Degradation Committee of the China Plastics Association. This is because some factories previously used" polyethylene+lime powder "or mixed with flour to impersonate biodegradable plastics, which pose greater harm after cracking.
The so-called biodegradable materials include biodegradable natural polymer materials such as cellulose, starch, paper, etc., as well as biodegradable plastics obtained through biosynthesis or chemical synthesis.
The products mentioned in the "10 plastic restrictions" currently have biodegradable alternatives.
Straws include biodegradable polylactic acid straws, paper straws, etc. Paper straws can already be seen at Starbucks. Biodegradable coffee stirring rods have been available for a long time, but they were mainly exported. Some companies in Zhejiang, Anhui, and other regions have tested and verified the production of biodegradable coffee stirring rods. There are enterprises in Hainan and Jilin that can produce biodegradable continuous roll bags, "said Weng Yunxuan.
How to promote biodegradable plastic products? Weng Yunxuan believes that the main obstacle at present is the slightly high cost, but as the market size gradually expands, the scale of raw materials will also expand, and the cost should become lower and lower. Under normal circumstances, the price of degradable plastic bags is two to three times that of non degradable plastic bags. Due to the current small scale, the cost will definitely come down a bit when the scale becomes larger in the future. The common materials for making mineral water bottles now are more than 20000 tons more than 20 years ago, and they are now very cheap, sometimes over 7000 tons
Focus 3: Exploring how plastic restriction can be combined with garbage classification
After billions of years, the Earth has learned to handle its own waste, but has not yet learned to handle human waste. "Wang Wang, Executive Vice President of the Recycling Branch of the China Synthetic Resin Association, believes that the cost of plastic products is very low, and there is almost no cost to discard, but the cost of recycling is very high.
The same applies to biodegradable plastic products, although they can be completely degraded into carbon dioxide, methane, and water, there are also conditions. The belief that biodegradable plastics will degrade in air or in use, or that they will degrade in any environment, is incorrect, "emphasized Weng Yunxuan.
Song Guojun, a professor at the School of Environment at Renmin University of China and director of the Institute of Environmental Policy and Planning, believes that the recycling and utilization of plastic products is also a way to solve the pollution problem of plastic products. From a technical perspective, all plastics can be recycled and reused. Some factories in Shenyang are doing this work, and it is recommended that relevant departments promote plastic recycling through policy guidance or subsidies
Currently, most plastic products in Beijing have not been recycled.
According to the new waste classification standards in Beijing, most of the plastic is classified into other types of waste. Only plastic containers, such as plastic bottles or plastic boxes, are recyclable waste, and our community does not even use plastic boxes. Most of the plastic in other types of waste is burned or buried. Incineration actually carries a high risk, and if not handled properly, it can easily lead to exceeding the standard for formula two, "said Song Guojun.
Xie Xinyuan also believes that plastic restriction should be combined with garbage classification, following the principle of prioritizing household waste management, and taking measures according to the priority order of "source reduction, reuse, recycling, other forms of utilization (such as energy utilization), and end treatment".
Taking the use of tableware as an example, the one with the least environmental impact is dining at home, which does not generate plastic waste from the source. If you order takeout, you should prioritize bringing your own tableware, etc. If you use disposable lunch boxes, it is best to recycle them, and finally use biodegradable plastic products, as the latter still generates a large amount of waste, "Xie Xinyuan said.
Although six key industries have been identified, restrictions have only been imposed on some types of disposable plastic products, and no overall reduction targets have been set for all disposable plastic products in these industries, which can easily lead to the phenomenon of pressing the gourd and lifting the gourd.
——Xie Xinyuan, Policy Director of the Zero Waste Alliance
Biodegradable plastics will undergo microbial degradation only when temperature, humidity, and microbial conditions are suitable. It is recommended that biodegradable plastics, like traditional plastics, should be recycled first if they can be physically reused. For those that are not easy to recycle or difficult to recycle, biological or chemical recycling should be used.
——Weng Yunxuan, Secretary General of the Degradation Committee of the China Plastics Association

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