On Sunday, China announced a plan to significantly reduce its plastic use and plastic production. It will completely ban some single-use plastic products by the end of the year.
China's National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, shared a timeline to phase out certain plastic goods over the next five years to "effectively control plastic pollution and strive to build a beautiful China."
By the end of 2020, non-degradable plastic bags will be banned in major cities, non-degradable disposable plastic straws will be banned nationwide and plastic tableware will be banned at catering services in certain areas. By the end of 2025, non-degradable plastic packaging and plastic tape at postal services, along with plastic supplies at hotels, will be banned nationwide.
According to a 2019 study, China is the world's leading plastic producer. And another study found that more plastic makes its way into the oceans by way of China's Yangtze River than by any other river.
An NDRC leader told reporters the "irregular production, use and disposal of plastic" not only wastes resources and energy, but will also pollute the environment and affect people's health and safety. They also said, "The implementation of various measures requires the strong cooperation and support of all sectors of society."