On January 1, 2020, the French "Energy Transition to Promote Green Growth Law" officially implemented the ban on plastics, and France became the first country in the world to ban the use of disposable plastic tableware.
The use of disposable plastic products is large and the recycling rate is low, which has caused serious pollution to the soil environment and the marine environment. At present, "plastic restriction" has become a global consensus, and many countries and regions have launched actions in restricting plastics. This article will give you an inventory of the policies and results achieved by countries around the world in restricting the use of primary plastic products.
The European Union issued a plastic limit directive in 2015. The goal is to consume no more than 90 plastic bags per person per year in EU countries by the end of 2019, and this number will be reduced to 40 by 2025. After the directive was issued, all member states have embarked on the "road of plastic restriction."
In 2018, the European Parliament passed a decree on the control of plastic waste. According to the decree, from 2021, the EU will completely prohibit member states from using 10 kinds of disposable plastic products such as drinking straws, tableware and cotton swabs. These products will be replaced by paper, straw or reusable hard plastics. Plastic bottles will be collected separately according to the existing recycling model; by 2025, the recycling rate of single-use plastic bottles in member states is required to reach 90%. At the same time, the bill also requires manufacturers to take more responsibility for their plastic products and packaging.
From January 1, 2020, France has banned the sale of certain disposable plastic products, including disposable cotton swabs, disposable cups and plates and other plastic products. School cafeterias also banned the use of purified water in plastic bottles.
The manager of the "French Zero Waste" organization stated that the French authorities will gradually strengthen the "plastic ban" in the next few years and plan to ban the sale of drinking water in plastic cups, plastic drinking straws and stirring rods, and styrofoam lunch boxes in 2021. Plastic packaging of fruits and vegetables will also be banned; in 2022, the catering industry, including fast food chains, will be prohibited from providing disposable tableware to dine-in customers. The ultimate goal is to reduce the use rate of disposable plastic products to zero by 2040.
As early as 2016, the German government reached an agreement with relevant companies to impose a tax on disposable plastic bags. That is, stores no longer provide plastic bags for free, and customers need to pay a certain fee to use plastic bags. Since the implementation of this policy, the per capita consumption of plastic bags in Germany has dropped from 68 in 2015 to 24 in 2018, and the national consumption of plastic bags has dropped by 64%.
In September 2019, the German government stated that it plans to increase “plastic restrictions” and is preparing to pass legislation prohibiting the sale of lightweight plastic bags at supermarket checkout counters.
Other European countries
In Europe, for "plastic restriction", the methods adopted by various countries can be summarized into two types: one is to levy taxes and charges, and the other is to completely prohibit the use.
Denmark was the first to tax plastic bags. In 1993, Denmark began to levy taxes on plastic bag manufacturers and allowed retailers to charge for plastic bags. This regulation directly led to a 60% drop in the use of plastic bags in Denmark at that time. France, Ireland, Bulgaria, Belgium and other countries all adopt this approach. In Germany, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands and other countries, retailers charge customers for plastic bags. Italy is more stringent. In 2011, the government announced that, except for biodegradable or decomposable plastic bags, other plastic bags are prohibited.
In Asia, China implemented the "Plastic Restriction Order" as early as 2008, stipulating that the production, sale, and use of plastic shopping bags with a thickness of less than 0.025 mm are prohibited nationwide, and all supermarkets, shopping malls, bazaars and other retail places are uniform. Plastic shopping bags may not be provided for free.
Beginning on New Year's Day in 2015, Jilin Province’s "plastic ban" came into effect, becoming a province that has fully upgraded from a plastic restriction to a ban.
In 2019, Hainan Province issued a "plastic ban". By the end of 2020, the province will completely ban the production, sale and use of disposable non-degradable plastic bags and plastic tableware. Before the end of 2025, the province will completely prohibit the production, sale and use of plastic products listed in the "List of Prohibited Sale and Use of Disposable Non-degradable Plastic Products in Hainan Province (Trial)".
As early as October 2010, South Korea began to implement the "recycled metering and charging garbage bag sales" system, stipulating that supermarkets must not provide disposable plastic bags for free. Five large supermarket chains in South Korea have signed relevant agreements with the South Korean Ministry of Environment to actively promote the use of environmentally friendly containers to replace disposable plastic bags.
Since August 2018, the Ministry of Environment of South Korea has banned the use of disposable plastic cups in coffee shops. In 2019, the scope of restrictions has been extended to supermarkets and bakery shops. 2000 large supermarkets and 11,000 supermarkets with an area of more than 165 square meters in South Korea have completely banned disposable plastic cups. For plastic bags, offenders will be fined up to 3 million won (1 million won is approximately 6,000 yuan).
Other Asian countries
At the end of 2019, Thailand issued a "plastic restriction order", which stipulates that from January 1, 2020, department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores of 75 brands will no longer provide customers with disposable plastic bags, and strive to achieve a national goal by 2021. Ban plastic.
On August 14, 2019, Pakistan’s "plastic ban" came into effect, which will prohibit the use of disposable plastic bags in the capital Islamabad and surrounding areas, and offenders will be fined $70.
In June 2019, the Minister of the Environment of Japan announced that it will formulate a new law prohibiting businesses from providing plastic bags to customers for free. The law will be implemented in the next two years, and the price of plastic bags will be determined by businesses themselves.
Africa is one of the regions with the greatest ban on plastics in the world. The rapid growth of plastic waste has brought huge environmental and economic and social problems to Africa, threatening the health and safety of the people.
As of June 2019, 34 of the 55 countries in Africa have issued relevant laws prohibiting the use or taxation of disposable plastic packaging bags.
As early as 2008, Rwanda banned the use of plastic bags and encouraged recycling through tax cuts. It has accumulated more than ten years of experience in banning plastics. Not only in Africa, but also in the world, it is mentioned in the prevention and control of packaging plastic pollution. The highest "model" country.
Kenya formally implemented the "world's most stringent" ban in August 2017, banning the use, manufacture and import of all commercial and household plastic bags. Violators face imprisonment of one to four years and a fine of up to 4 million Kenyan shillings (approximately RMB 270,000). In early June 2018, following a comprehensive ban on plastic bags, the Kenyan government further announced that it will implement a ban on all disposable plastic products in designated "protected areas" before June 5, 2020.
Source: CCUS and bioenergy materials
CPRJ Plastic Rubber
Xinhuanet, Sohu News