How far is it from "plastic limit" to "plastic ban"?
release date: Source: Guangming
China is a large country in the production and consumption of plastic products. According to the data from the plastic recycling Professional Committee of China Plastics Association, China uses about 3billion plastic bags every day. By 2019, the annual use of plastic bags has exceeded 4million tons. The huge consumption and the negative impact on the environment make all sectors of society pay general attention to the treatment of plastic pollution
in the investigation and interview, it was found that most of the public expressed support for the implementation of the national "plastic ban" policy and were willing to make changes to this end. However, some people also raised questions: "is it a 'false environmental protection and real form' to only prohibit the use of non degradable disposable plastic straws and not prohibit the use of plastic cups and plastic covers?" "Plastic is not environmentally friendly, and using its substitute paper also consumes wood. Is it more environmentally friendly?" With some issues of public concern, I interviewed a number of industry experts to discuss from multiple perspectives
"drinking milk tea with a paper straw will reduce happiness"
-- the topic of "plastic restriction" has frequently rushed to hot searches to reflect the public's enthusiasm for environmental protection
at the beginning of 2020, the national development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of ecological environment issued the "opinions on further strengthening plastic pollution control" (also known as the new "plastic restriction order"): by the end of 2020, shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies Bookstores and other venues have initially formed industrialized catering, packaging and takeout services and various exhibition activities. The use of non degradable plastic bags is prohibited, and the use of non degradable plastic bags is standardized and restricted in the market; By the end of 2020, the use of non degradable disposable plastic straw will be banned in the catering industry nationwide; By 2025, the consumption intensity of non degradable disposable plastic tableware in the catering takeout field in cities above the prefecture level will be reduced by 30%
according to the "new plastic restriction order", non degradable disposable plastic straw has been banned nationwide since January 1, 2021. Many straw manufacturers and milk tea and beverage stores responded positively by introducing paper straw and degradable disposable plastic straw, which have made new breakthroughs in the fields of automobile, high-speed rail, aviation and industrial utilization for consumers to choose. However, many consumers said, "paper straws taste bad", "paper straws are easy to bubble and hard to use", "many stores do not provide biodegradable disposable plastic straws", etc
on April 7, this edition launched a Weibo survey on Guangming's official Weibo, "will drinking milk tea with a paper straw reduce happiness?". Once released, the survey quickly became a hot topic on the microblogging platform. As of 16:20 on April 8, the topic had been read by 22.17 million people on Guangming's official Weibo, about 82000 people voted, nearly 300 real name authenticated users participated in the discussion and left comments, and the number of likes reached 84000. On the Weibo platform, as of 16:20 on April 8, the topic reading volume reached 40.213 million in just one day. According to statistics, since the beginning of this year, topics related to paper straws have frequently rushed to Weibo hot search, and friends have enthusiastically participated in the discussion, which fully reflects their active support for "plastic limit" and environmental protection
many friends pointed out that after the prohibition of non degradable disposable plastic straws, there were problems such as "the use of plastic bags in supermarkets will not be reduced but increased after the 'prohibition of plastics'", "the effect of the prohibition of plastics is poor", "the prohibition of plastic straws can not help plastic cups", "paper straws affect the taste of drinks" and so on. In this regard, experts said that there is a "labor pains" in the transformation, but when the competent departments and institutions of the industry promote the "plastic limit" policy, they should not only promote the reform through the ban, but should start with more details and consider comprehensively to promote the "plastic limit" policy to further deepen
at the beginning of this year, caoshuyan, an associate professor of Beijing Institute of petrochemical technology, led a team to investigate the use of plastic bags by rural residents in China. The results showed that rural residents use 394 plastic bags per capita per year, and 73.2% of families bought plastic bags alone last year. Cao Shuyan pointed out that film plastic bags are a long-term difficult area of "plastic restriction". Although charging can significantly reduce the use of plastic bags, there is a problem of "decline" in the effect; The online businesses of large supermarkets tend to provide free plastic bags to attract and stick customers. "To solve these problems, we need to make further breakthroughs in the management mechanism."
"the straw is changed, but the cup cover and cup are still non degradable disposable plastic materials"
- "plastic restriction" cannot become a superficial "formalism"
in the survey, it is found that plastic cups and plastic covers are widely used in the catering industry. As friends said, "the straw is changed, but the cup cover and cup are still non degradable disposable plastic materials". Such "environmental protection" makes many friends doubt that the environmental protection action of some catering stores is actually a superficial "formalism"
in this regard, the interviewed experts said that although domestic degradable plastic technology has made breakthroughs in recent years, there are still problems that need to be improved in terms of cost and physical properties. Take degradable plastic bags as an example. This kind of plastic bag has high production cost and is more vulnerable than non degradable plastic bags. Many takeout workers often tell businesses to "set more bags" when delivering food, resulting in substantial waste. Experts believe that it is difficult for non degradable plastic products to withdraw from the market at this stage, which is also the reason why China has not yet fully "banned plastic". Similarly, globally, at present, no country can completely "ban plastic" nationwide
many friends left messages in the microblog survey launched by this newspaper, saying that they are very supportive of the cause of environmental protection and are willing to pay the corresponding fees for promoting the "plastic limit". However, with the substantial increase in the income level of Chinese residents in recent years, the extra fees of a few cents and a dollar for limiting the use of plastic bags in the past have begun to have little effect, making it difficult to play the role of price leverage. At the same time, the supervision objects are "small, scattered and many", and the difficulty of law enforcement can be imagined. Wu Xian, director of the product quality and safety supervision and Administration Department of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of market supervision, said frankly that as a large import City, if the country cannot achieve a game of chess to limit ultra-thin plastic bags, the pressure of Beijing regulators will be very great. "There are 2million market players in Beijing, and it is estimated that half of them use ultra-thin plastic bags. With such a huge volume, all the forces of market regulators can't keep an eye on people. Fortunately, the industrial adjustment catalogue released by the national development and Reform Commission has made it clear that restricting the production of ultra-thin plastic bags nationwide has reduced some of our pressure."
in addition to the catering industry, plastic products are also widely used in e-commerce, express delivery and takeout. The new "plastic restriction order" requires that by 2022, a number of plastic reduction and green logistics models that can be replicated and promoted will be formed in the areas with prominent plastic pollution problems and emerging fields such as e-commerce, express delivery and takeout. "At present, e-commerce express delivery enterprises and brand merchants are cooperating with upstream packaging supply enterprises to jointly promote the construction of sustainable ecological chain in the industry, explore and promote the application of recyclable express packaging, and develop it to a large-scale application nationwide. Some take away platforms are also studying and formulating the recommended list of take away environmental protection packaging, and exploring the large-scale and market-oriented recycling path of plastic lunch boxes." Zhao Kai, vice president and Secretary General of China Circular Economy Association, introduced
Zhao Kai said that in the future, e-commerce and express enterprises can promote recyclable packaging, tape free cartons, slimming tapes, fully biodegradable bags, etc. from the aspects of warehousing, packaging, transportation, end distribution, etc., reduce the use of disposable non degradable plastic packaging bags, plastic woven bags, plastic tapes, etc., and gradually expand the scope of use of recyclable express packaging. "The takeaway platform can reduce the amount of disposable plastic packaging for takeaway from the source, upgrade the packaging, and recycle and reuse downstream. It can also put full biodegradable plastic bags free of charge, guide platform merchants to use biodegradable packaging, guide users to reduce the use of disposable tableware by giving back green energy, strengthen multi-party cooperation, and explore the classified recycling mode of takeaway plastic lunch boxes."
non woven fabrics, paper, bamboo and wood can be used as substitutes for disposable plastic products
- "plastic limitation" cannot be "one size fits all", biodegradable plastics are not absolutely environmental friendly
in the future, more factory builders say that after more than 100 years of production practice, plastic products have gone deep into all aspects of human life. At the beginning of plastic production, it is for convenience. Therefore, while "limiting plastic", we should also pay attention to the development and production of new environmentally friendly and pollution-free substitutes for consumers to choose
according to statistics, the annual consumption of plastic products is about 300000 tons in the retail and catering fields in relevant regions involved in the phased goal of "plastic limit" by the end of 2020. Zhang Lijun, vice president of the China Federation of Commerce, said that the raw materials of non-woven fabrics, paper, bamboo and other substitutes are sufficient, the annual supply of degradable plastics is about 400000 tons, and the production capacity of alternative products can effectively meet consumer demand
however, Zhang Lijun also pointed out that not all plastic products should be restricted. "The characteristic of disposable use is convenience, but disposable use also depends on the necessity. Disposable products used in medical scenes such as infusion and injection are related to life safety and necessary, but disposable tableware is obviously unnecessary."
in the field of packaging, plastic products are widely used. Guozhenmei, director of China Export Commodity Packaging Research Institute, pointed out that with the popularization and application of the "plastic restriction order", some plastic packaging can gradually reduce the use of plastic by reducing the design and selecting substitutes. "At present, the research and development of many new materials and containers in the packaging field can reduce the use of traditional plastics, achieve the purpose of reduction and lightweight, and thus play a supporting role in the technical level of 'plastic limit'. For example, Tetra Pak's Tetra Pak 'packaging developed by Tetra Pak company, its plastic film and cover are polymerized from sugarcane extract, and the renewable raw material ratio and carbon footprint of the whole packaging are superior to ordinary packaging; JD, Suning and other enterprises In recent years, the industry has also launched recyclable express packaging boxes to gradually replace traditional plastic packaging bags through the improvement of product research and development technology and recycling management system. "
the emergence of biodegradable plastics is regarded as a sharp tool to deal with plastic pollution, especially to solve the environmental pollution of plastic food contact materials such as disposable straws. China's biodegradable food contact materials industry is facing good development prospects, but some public and industry do not have a clear understanding of the concept of biodegradable plastics. Lu Qian, a researcher at the National Key Laboratory for the detection of food contact materials, stressed that whether a certain plastic will be fully biodegradable is affected by many factors, such as crystallinity, additives, microorganisms, temperature, time and so on. "In the absence of conditions, many degradable plastics can not achieve complete biodegradation, but may also have a negative impact on the environment and human health, such as degradation into invisible plastic particles. It can be seen that biodegradable plastics are not a panacea to solve plastic pollution, and negative use can play its advantages and role."
as for the price and cost of alternatives of public concern, Weng Yunxuan, Secretary General of the degradable plastics professional committee of China Plastics Processing Industry Association and Dean of the school of chemistry and materials engineering of Beijing Industrial and Commercial University, said that at present, the alternative products of plastic products are still in the early stage of industrial development, and the scale is small and divided
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