World Environment Day: China’s battle against plastic waste

China 24

World Environment Day: China's battle against plastic waste

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is “Beat Plastic Pollution.” How is China’s battle against plastic waste?

CGTN’s Liu Xinqing reports.

With a population of more than 1.3 billion people, China is a big producer and consumer of plastic products — meaning that it is also a huge generator of plastic waste.

Exactly ten years ago, China enacted its “Plastic Ban” regulation to minimize its use. This enactment, however, did not substantially solve the problem. Landfill sites found throughout the country are still filled with plastic waste.

“The key to solving this problem is public awareness and personal habits,” Guo Chunxia, deputy director of Henan Solid Waste Management Center said. “We need to help ordinary citizens realize that the plastics they use are harmful to themselves, their children and the entire environment.”

Research shows that each plastic bag is only used for 25 minutes, but it takes around 200 years to fully degrade. Further, a substantial part of low quality plastics can never be degraded at all. 

Such nature of plastics determines that it presents a daunting environmental challenge to the whole world. While the World Environment Day indeed raises awareness about its harms and calls for action to protect our mother earth, China’s battle against plastic pollution still has a long way to go.

Adina Adler on reducing global plastic pollution

Adina Adler is senior director of International Relations, at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. She believes countries can break the cycle by reducing, reusing and rethinking their approach to waste. Adler spoke with CGTN’s Mike Walter about steps that can be taken to reduce global reliance on plastics.