Chinese company offers solution to plastic bag pollution problem

World Today

Plastics are a worldwide environmental problem. One Chinese company is creating a solution.

It’s a grocery bag that doesn’t use traditional plastics and it also dissolves in water.

CGTN’s Cui Huiao reports.

In less than a minute, this bag dissolves in cold water. It’s a new solution that this company in Qingyuan city of Guangdong Province has come up to battle white pollution.

“Three years ago we developed this water soluble bag after collaborating with a Guangzhou University. It’s made of PVA, a controversial material because of its biodegradability. But its water solubility makes it a perfect material for bags, which will do little harm to the environment,” said Lydia Li general manager of Polye Materials Company.

The company has showcased the new material bag at rubber and plastic exhibitions for years. Li says many clients abroad have expressed interest, yet cost remains a concern, as using such bags would double or even triple expenses for retailers.

Nevertheless, a company in Chile has become a partner, mainly since all plastic bags are banned there.

“It’s an opportunity for us because they need an alternative to plastic bags. In fact, the challenge we face here is that China has not yet prohibited plastic bag usage, which makes it difficult for us to promote our product,” said Lydia Li general manager of Polye Materials Company.

Ten years ago, China issued its first ban on the use of the thinnest types of plastic bags. It was seen as an attempt to ease environmental pressures that have come with rapid economic growth. A decade later, still, as many as 2 billion plastic bags a day are used in China, putting tremendous pressure on the country’s resources.

The exponential growth of delivery and food take-out industries has contributed to the plastic bag issue. The filth is commonly found in waterways, on beaches, and in oceans.

Experts say by 2050 the world’s oceans will have more plastic than fish by volume. This will pose a huge threat to marine life and human beings. Asked whether water soluble bags will be the deal breaker, Li says at the end of the day, it still comes down to each citizen’s environmental awareness.

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