While once pristine beaches around the tropics are becoming famous for their plastic litter, China’s island province of Hainan is implementing a new plan to keep its beaches clean.
Cities like Sanya and Haikou are ground zero for an ambitious new plastic pollution control plan that began in August when the sale of single-use plastic items was banned from the area.
Plastic food containers, forks, drink glasses, knives, straws, plastic bags, packing bags and other items that are not biodegradable can no longer be sold in major establishments such as supermarkets, hospitals, government and state buildings such as schools. and tourist attractions.
The ban plan was announced in February, when the Chinese government decided that Hainan, the country’s smallest province, would be the site of a new “national ecological civilization pilot zone, ”And that the success or failure of the plastic ban would inform future policies across the country.
As part of the pilot program, Hainan has been cultivating biodegradable plastic industrial-scale production methods as part of the plan to supply the entire province with hundreds of thousands of tons of biodegradable plastics, of which at least 40,000 tons of bags, films , and tableware are now available for purchase.
According to one Chinese newspaper Local merchants and residents understand that the costs of doing business will rise due to the need to purchase more expensive biodegradable or reusable products, but that over time the benefit to nature and the environment will pay off.
This was not always the case in China, and the doctrine that “man must conquer nature” was quite popular in previous decades under harsher party rule.
By 2025, China hopes to effectively control the plastic pollution that enters the ocean, enters landfills, and litters the beaches. As part of its five-year plan, it also hopes to establish a complete plastics management system and employ biodegradable plastics or plastic substitutes across the country.
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