As an important basic material, plastic has been widely used in all aspects of economic and social production and life. It not only brings many conveniences to people's production and life, but also brings great environmental impact challenges.
Plastic itself is not a pollutant. The essence of plastic pollution is that plastic waste leaks into soil, water and other natural environments and is difficult to degrade, resulting in environmental hazards such as visual pollution, soil damage and micro plastics. Plastic pollution control is a worldwide problem, which has become a global focus topic in recent years.
Recently, the national development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of ecological environment jointly issued the action plan for plastic pollution control in the 14th five year plan (hereinafter referred to as the plan). The following is the interpretation of relevant policies issued by the national development and Reform Commission. Follow the editor to learn about it~
Carry out whole chain governance and build a solid foundation
Durable dyke for plastic pollution control
As one of the great inventions of mankind, plastic has been rapidly applied to all aspects of economic and social production and life since its birth, which has brought great convenience to mankind. However, if plastic products are improperly disposed and leaked into the natural environment, it will bring great harm to human health and ecological environment. At present, plastic pollution has become the focus of global environmental problems. Plastic itself is not a pollutant. The essence of plastic pollution is that the leakage of non degradable plastic waste into the soil, water and other natural environment brings visual pollution, soil damage, micro plastic and other environmental hazards. The core of plastic pollution control is to build a solid dam for the leakage of plastic to the environment.
The plan aims to carry out the whole chain treatment of plastic pollution and build "dams" to prevent plastic leakage to the environment.
1、 Reduce the amount at the source and promote the "slimming" of plastic production and consumption
With excellent performance and low cost, plastics are widely used in the production of various products, which can be described as "everywhere". However, for a long time, due to the unclear responsibilities of enterprises and consumers and the weak awareness of saving, the excessive packaging of goods is still "rampant", and the waste of all kinds of disposable plastic products is common. These disposable plastic products are widely used, low value and difficult to collect, which have become the "difficulty" and "pain point" of plastic pollution control. Therefore, their production and use must be reduced from the source.
In the process of product design and production, the plan proposes to actively promote the green design of plastic products. It is prohibited to produce ultra-thin plastic shopping bags with a thickness of less than 0.025mm, polyethylene agricultural film with a thickness of less than 0.01mm, daily chemical products containing plastic beads and other products harmful to the environment and human health. Reduce the excessive packaging of goods, improve the degree of material uniformity and the easy recycling and recycling of products, and facilitate the recycling and reuse of plastic products after use.
In the aspect of plastic circulation and consumption, the plan proposes to promote the reduction of the use of non degradable plastic shopping bags, disposable plastic tableware, disposable plastic straws and disposable plastic products in hotels and hotels in traditional business services such as commodity retail, catering and accommodation. Supervise and guide e-commerce, takeout and other platform enterprises and express delivery enterprises to implement the main responsibilities and formulate rules for the reduction platform of disposable plastic products. Significantly reduce the secondary packaging of e-commerce commodities in the delivery link, and improve the standardization, greening and recycling level of express packaging.
2、 Recycle and realize the "turning waste into treasure" of plastic waste
Plastic products have the dual attributes of resource and environment. If waste plastics can be well recycled and recycled, they will become new resources, so as to reduce the consumption of primary resources; If it cannot be recovered effectively, because of its non degradable characteristics, leakage to the environment will cause environmental pollution. Therefore, another important link in the whole chain treatment of plastic pollution is to strengthen the recycling of waste plastics and change "plastic waste" into "renewable resources". According to the statistics of industry associations, at present, China recycles nearly 19 million tons of various plastics every year. While providing high-quality industrial raw materials, it can reduce about 45% of sewage discharge and 60% - 70% of energy consumption compared with the use of primary resources.
In terms of recycling and transportation, the plan proposes to promote the integration of urban renewable resource recycling outlets and domestic waste classification outlets in combination with domestic waste classification, so as to improve the standardization level of plastic waste recycling. Improve the system of classified collection, transfer and disposal of rural domestic waste. In terms of recycling, the plan proposes to support the construction of plastic waste recycling projects, publish the list of standardized enterprises for comprehensive utilization of waste plastics, guide relevant projects to gather in parks such as resource recycling base and industrial resource comprehensive utilization base, and promote the large-scale, standardized and clean development of plastic waste recycling industry. In terms of harmless disposal, the plan proposes to comprehensively promote the construction of domestic waste incineration facilities, promote the energy utilization of plastic waste that is difficult to be recycled, and greatly reduce the direct landfill of plastic waste.
3、 Make up the short board to make all kinds of plastic waste "nowhere to hide"
Plastic garbage, especially disposable plastic garbage such as plastic bags and plastic straws, is small and light. In addition, some people have the bad habit of littering, which is easy to be scattered into the environment by the wind. Open air plastic waste pollution is still common in some key water areas such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, coastal areas such as bays, estuaries and beaches, and places with imperfect waste collection facilities such as rural key areas such as front and back of village houses, ponds and ditches, and field plots. There is also the phenomenon of randomly discarding domestic garbage in scenic spots, which has become a short board for plastic pollution control.
In order to make up for the shortcomings of plastic waste collection and disposal, the plan focuses on key areas such as rivers, lakes and seas, scenic spots and rural areas, proposes to carry out special cleaning and rectification of plastic waste, so as to "clean it up", ensure that "visible" plastic waste is eliminated as soon as possible, and strive to basically eliminate the open-air plastic waste left over by the history of key water areas, class A and above scenic spots and villages. For some "invisible" plastic wastes in the history of old domestic waste landfills, the plan also proposes to promote the collaborative incineration disposal of existing landfills and new domestic waste incineration facilities to prevent leakage into the environment for a long time.
4、 Jointly govern and share, and unite the joint efforts of the government, enterprises and the public
Plastic pollution control involves all aspects of production and life. It not only requires the government to strengthen governance and overall planning, but also requires enterprises to take the initiative and fulfill their responsibilities, but also requires the active participation of consumers, actively say "no" to plastic products that do not meet the relevant national regulations, be more tolerant and understand all kinds of alternative products, and consciously fulfill the obligation of classified release of domestic waste, Form a good atmosphere for the participation of the whole society. The plan proposes to strengthen the publicity, education and scientific popularization of plastic pollution control, guide the public to develop green consumption habits, and finally form a socialized promotion system for plastic pollution control.
Plastic pollution control is not only to prohibit the production and use of non-conforming plastic beads, ultra-thin agricultural films and other products, nor to restrict the use of disposable plastic shopping bags, but also to build a systematic governance system of reducing the use of production and consumption links, maximizing the recycling cycle in recycling links, and fully quantitative and safe disposal in end disposal links from the perspective of the whole chain, Finally, let this synthetic material "live" and "die" due to human activities. Only in this way can we walk out of a coordinated development road between the use of plastic products and ecological and environmental protection. (author: Zhang Deyuan, associate researcher and deputy director of the Institute of structural reform, Macroeconomic Research Institute of the national development and Reform Commission)
Strengthen the cleaning of plastic waste in key areas
Take multiple measures to protect green waters and mountains
Plastic waste cleaning mainly refers to cleaning up the plastic waste left in the natural environment, so as to reduce its impact on natural and cultural landscape, ecological environment and human health. In January 2020, the opinions on further strengthening plastic pollution control jointly issued by the national development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of ecological environment put forward the requirements for special cleaning of plastic waste. The recently released plan has further refined the deployment for the cleaning and remediation of plastic waste in key areas, which has laid a solid foundation for carrying out this work during the 14th Five Year Plan period.
Plastic waste leaked into the environment has caused "white pollution". According to a report of the United Nations Environment Programme in 2018, of the 9 billion tons of plastic products produced in the world, only 9% are recycled, about 12% are burned, and the remaining 79% are finally deposited in landfills or into the natural environment. Biodegradable plastic waste causes the death of hundreds of thousands of marine animals every year. It also enters the food chain in the form of micro plastics and plastic fragments, affecting human health. These figures are not necessarily accurate, but the problems reflected are objective. How to deal with the increasingly serious leakage of plastic waste into the environment has become a serious issue that all countries must face.
Due to various reasons, a large number of plastic wastes are accumulated in rivers, lakes, seas, fields and other natural environments in China. These open-air plastic wastes will not only affect the public landscape, but also pollute the water environment and land environment. Especially after extreme weather and flood disasters such as rainstorm and typhoon, a large amount of plastic waste is washed into rivers, embankments and beaches, which seriously affects the normal life of the people. It is difficult to clean up open-air plastic waste and it is easy to rebound. All regions need to attach great importance to it, strengthen coordination among departments, and strengthen preventive measures and source control measures.
In order to solve the persistent problem of open-air plastic waste, the plan deploys the main task of vigorously cleaning and remediation of plastic waste in key areas, and defines three key tasks of cleaning and remediation of plastic waste in rivers, lakes and seas, scenic spots and rural areas.
First, strengthen the cleaning and remediation of plastic waste in rivers, lakes and seas. The plan requires the implementation of special cleaning of plastic waste within the management scope of rivers, lakes and reservoirs, as well as coastal areas such as bays, estuaries and beaches, the establishment of a normalized cleaning mechanism, and strive to basically clear the open-air plastic waste in key waters. Increase the use of garbage collection facilities in beaches and other activity places, and improve the frequency of garbage removal and transportation. Urge the ship to collect, transfer and dispose of plastic waste in strict accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
Second, deepen the cleaning and remediation of plastic waste in scenic spots. The plan requires to establish and improve the normalized management mechanism of domestic waste in scenic spots, increase the investment of domestic waste collection facilities in scenic spots, promote the integrated collection, transportation and disposal of domestic waste in scenic spots and urban and rural domestic waste, and timely clean and collect plastic waste in scenic spots. Promote civilized tourism by strengthening the education and guidance of tourists. All open-air plastic wastes in tourist attractions of class A and above shall be cleared.
Third, carry out in-depth cleaning and remediation of plastic waste in rural areas. The plan requires that in combination with the improvement of rural living environment, the cleaning of plastic waste should be included in the work of village cleaning action. Clean up the open-air plastic waste scattered in the front and back of the village houses, ponds and ditches, fields, roadways and roads, and promote the basic clearing of the open-air plastic waste left over by the history of the village. Clarify the responsibilities of villagers through the "Three Guarantees in front of the door" and other systems, and promote the institutionalization, normalization and long-term of village cleaning action.
The plan defines the departmental responsibilities of the above three plastic waste cleaning and remediation work, subdivides the tasks, and has strong operability. In summary, the three clean-up and rectification work mainly has the following characteristics and innovations.
First, strengthen departmental cooperation. Previously, although the relevant departments have some corresponding mechanisms and measures for the problems of rivers, lakes and seas, scenic spots and Rural plastic waste within their respective responsibilities, such as the long system of rivers and lakes, the action of "clearing the four chaos" and the action of village cleaning, the departmental cooperation still needs to be strengthened. The plan emphasizes the role of the existing work platform, implements the main responsibilities of each link, and decomposes the relevant work tasks to specific departments, which greatly strengthens the operability of the plan.
Second, pay attention to adjusting measures to local conditions. The pollution problems of rivers, lakes and marine plastics are different, the problems of scenic spots and rural areas are different, and the problems in the south, north, East and West, even in different seasons and different periods. The plan emphasizes that different measures should be taken for different regions instead of one size fits all measures. In the specific implementation, each region should also clarify the corresponding cleaning and remediation objectives, one place and one policy, and form a targeted and operable regional cleaning strategy.
Third, build a long-term mechanism. The problem of plastic waste in rivers, lakes and seas, scenic spots and rural areas is very easy to rebound, and a single clean-up can not really solve the problem. The plan requires the construction of a long-term mechanism for the three cleaning and remediation works, so as to institutionalize, normalize and long-term the cleaning and remediation of plastic waste, and solve the persistent disease of open-air plastic waste left over by history.
The implementation of special cleaning of plastic waste will help to grasp key problems and key areas, promote the realization of the overall goal of plastic waste treatment in the 14th five year plan, achieve tangible results of "clear water and green shore", and protect green water and green mountains. (author: Wang Xuejun, Professor, School of city and environment, Peking University)
Vigorously develop recycled plastics industry
Greater achievements have been made in plastic pollution control
With many varieties and excellent comprehensive properties, plastics are widely used in all aspects of economy and society. The per capita consumption of plastics also reflects a country's economic development level. China has become a big country in the production and consumption of plastic raw materials and products. According to statistics, with the economic and social development and the continuous improvement of people's living standards, China's plastic output will be more than 100 million tons in 2020, and the output of plastic products above Designated Size will exceed 76 million tons.
The huge consumption of plastics has brought a lot of plastic waste, but not all plastic waste will cause pollution problems. Most plastic materials are renewable. Recycling waste plastics can not only solve the problem of plastic pollution, but also provide considerable raw materials for industrial production, so as to reduce oil exploitation. Therefore, vigorously developing the recycled plastic industry, building a scientific and accurate plastic waste management system, reasonably controlling plastic waste, eliminating disposal pressure and improving the proportion of resource utilization can not only effectively solve the problem of plastic pollution, but also help to ensure China's energy security and help achieve the goals of carbon peak and carbon neutralization.
Recently, the plan has deployed the whole chain treatment of plastic pollution during the 14th Five Year Plan period. For the recycling link, the plan puts forward the important task of "accelerating the standardized recycling and disposal of plastic waste".
1、 China's recycled plastics industry has a good development foundation
First, China's waste plastic recycling network covers a wide range and a large scale, and the amount of waste plastic recycling is gradually increasing. According to the estimation of China material recycling association, from 2017 to 2019, the domestic recycling volume of waste plastics continued to grow steadily, and the physical recovery rate of waste plastics has been above 30%. In 2019, the domestic recycling volume of waste plastics was about 18.9 million tons, an increase of 600000 tons over 2018, an increase of 3.3%. The recovery amount is about 100 billion yuan. Although affected by the global epidemic, it is expected that the domestic recycling volume of waste plastics will remain at about 16 million tons in 2020. At the same time, China's recycled plastics industry has the most complete industrial chain, the most detailed industrial division, the richest industry experience, the most perfect product application and the most diversified operation mode.
The second is the gradual green transformation of waste plastic recycling industry. In recent years, the standardization level of China's plastic recycling industry has been continuously improved. Many small-scale and polluting waste plastic recycling and recycling processing enterprises have been closed, the scale of formal enterprises has been continuously expanded, and the management level has been continuously improved. A number of large-scale recycled plastic recycling trading markets and processing distribution centers have been formed, and continue to develop into recycling and processing clusters Market transaction intensive green economy. Recycled plastic products have also been widely used in textile, automobile, packaging, electronics and other fields, and have made due contributions to the development of the national economy.
Third, the contribution to global recycled plastics has been further enhanced.China has never transported waste plastics to other countries, and the local treatment rate is 100%. At the same time, China began to dispose of waste plastics all over the world in the 1990s. Only in the five years from 2013 to 2017, China disposed of 36.6 million tons of imported waste plastics, making a great contribution to the pollution control of waste plastics in the world. After the implementation of the policy of banning the import of solid waste, China's contribution has not stopped. Some domestic recycled plastic enterprises have invested and built factories in Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, Europe and the United States, bringing China's experience and technology of waste plastic recycling to various countries. China's recycled plastics industry is gradually changing from the traditional mode of "global waste plastics resources + domestic recycled processing" to the dual drive mode of overseas investment in recycled processing and domestic waste plastics recycling. The global influence and contribution of the recycled plastics industry are further enhanced.
2、 The main tasks of the development of China's recycled plastics industry during the 14th Five Year Plan Period
Although the overall development of China's recycled plastics industry is good, there are still some problems, such as low overall recycling rate, uneven urban and rural development, insufficient scale and so on. During the "14th five year plan" period, the recycled plastics industry should, in accordance with the main task of "accelerating the standardized recycling and disposal of plastic wastes" in the plan, improve the overall planning of urban and rural areas, further develop in a large-scale, standardized and clean manner, promote greater achievements in the treatment of plastic pollution during the "14th five year plan" and help achieve the goals of carbon peak and carbon neutralization.
First, strengthen the standardized recycling and transportation of plastic waste. The plan aims to improve the urban recovery rate and proposes that "we should promote the integration of urban renewable resource recovery outlets and domestic waste classification outlets in combination with domestic waste classification, and reasonably arrange domestic waste classification and collection facilities and equipment in large communities, office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, schools, venues and other places". At the same time, strengthen the standardized recycling of plastic waste in the field of passenger transportation, e-commerce, takeout and other fields.
Second, establish and improve the Rural plastic waste collection, transportation and disposal system. The plan focuses on strengthening the collection of plastic waste in rural areas, puts forward the action of agricultural film recycling and pesticide packaging recycling, and supports and guides large farmers, agricultural production service organizations, renewable resource recycling enterprises and other relevant responsible subjects to actively carry out the recycling of waste agricultural and fishery materials such as irrigation appliances, fishing nets, fishing gear and seedling plates.
Third, increase the recycling of plastic waste. The plan proposes to support the construction of plastic waste recycling projects and promote the large-scale, standardized and clean development of plastic waste recycling industry. Strengthen the environmental supervision of plastic waste recycling enterprises, strengthen the rectification of small and scattered enterprises and illegal acts, and prevent secondary pollution. At the same time, improve the relevant standards of recycled plastics and encourage the same level and high value-added utilization of plastic wastes.
Fourth, improve the level of harmless disposal of plastic waste. Plastic waste is difficult to degrade in soil. To prevent potential waste plastic pollution in the future, the landfill of waste must be reduced as much as possible. The plan proposes that during the "14th five year plan" period, China will comprehensively promote the construction of domestic waste incineration facilities, supplement the short board of incineration treatment capacity, and greatly reduce the direct landfill of plastic waste. At the same time, strengthen the comprehensive treatment of existing landfill sites, standardize daily operations, and prevent the leakage of historical landfill plastic waste in the environment.
During the 14th Five Year Plan period, vigorously developing the recycled plastic industry is one of the important ways to control plastic pollution, which can maximize resource utilization and reduce carbon in the whole industrial chain. At the same time, China will further improve its own plastic waste management system and improve the recycling level of plastic waste, which also plays an important international demonstration role and will provide "Chinese wisdom" for global plastic pollution control. (author: Wang Yonggang, Secretary General of recycled plastics branch of China Material Recycling Association)
Scientific understanding of plastic substitutes such as degradable plastics
Substitute products to guide the orderly development of relevant industries
With the deepening of plastic pollution control, the demand for plastic alternative products is increasing, and related products are widely concerned by the society. At the same time, there are many problems and challenges. The recently released plan further deployed the scientific and stable promotion of alternative products, laying a solid foundation for relevant work during the 14th Five Year Plan period.
Biodegradable plastics are a kind of plastic substitute materials, which can be completely degraded by microorganisms in nature into carbon dioxide (CO2) or / and methane (CH4), water (H2O) and mineralized inorganic salts of its elements under environmental conditions such as soil, seawater, fresh water and compost. At present, the types of biodegradable plastics that have been industrialized mainly include polylactic acid (PLA), polybutylene terephthalate (PBAT), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), polypropylene carbonate (PPC), etc. PBAT is the main raw material for membrane bags, and PLA is the main raw material for tableware, injection molding and fiber. Other types of biodegradable plastics are mainly used in high-end fields. With the improvement of performance and the continuous reduction of cost, they begin to be applied in the fields of daily necessities such as fiber and agricultural plastic film.
With the deepening of plastic pollution control policies in China, biodegradable plastic industry has developed rapidly. In terms of production capacity, in 2020, the annual production capacity of PBAT and PLA in China will be about 300000 tons and 100000 tons respectively, accounting for about half of the global production capacity. It is estimated that by 2025, the annual capacity of PBAT and PLA in China will be about 7 million tons and more than 1 million tons, accounting for more than two-thirds of the global capacity. In terms of standards, the standards in the field of biodegradation are gradually improving. Among the detection methods of biodegradation ISO international standard, China has equivalent 11 items. In terms of testing capability, the number of institutions that can test the degradation performance of biodegradable plastics has increased rapidly, and there are about 15 laboratories internationally recognized by peers or certification institutions such as DIN certco and BPI that can test these tests.
However, we should be aware that there are still different views on the application field of degradable plastics and the impact of degradation products on the environment. At present, the development of degradable industry still faces problems such as imperfect standards, insufficient detection capacity and short board in subsequent disposal. We still need to make continuous efforts in scientific research, product performance and use cost.
In terms of application fields, it is very difficult to completely recycle and reuse plastic products in some fields. The popularization and application of biodegradable plastic products in these fields can greatly reduce the risk of traditional plastic leakage to the environment and is one of the important ways to prevent plastic pollution. Some plastics that are difficult to recycle, such as agricultural mulch, flocculant and water-soluble polymer, often leak into the environment from the closed waste treatment cycle system; Some products used in the ocean are made of plastic (such as fishing gear), which are sometimes lost or deliberately placed in the marine environment. It is worth noting that it is very important to cultivate the public's green living habits. We should not form the habit of discarding at will because of the use of degradable plastic products.
From the impact of degradation products on the environment, China is stepping up the formulation of relevant national standards, and the relevant detection capabilities are gradually strengthened. Because the environment and degradation conditions of plastic waste after leakage are relatively complex, a degradation rate test method simulating real conditions should be established according to the environmental conditions. The simulated environment of relevant international standards mainly includes composting, freshwater environment, marine environment, soil environment, anaerobic digestion environment, etc. the relevant detection needs to determine the amount of biogas released in the biodegradation process, and obtain the biodegradation rate by calculating the percentage of organic carbon contained in the polymer converted into biogas. There are 15 testing methods in relevant ISO international standards and 1 requirement for Compostable Plastics. Of these 16 standards, 11 have been equivalent to those in China, and other international standards are also being transformed. At present, there are more than 20 degradable performance testing laboratories in China, and the testing capacity is gradually improving.
In order to scientifically and steadily promote plastic alternative products, the plan has deployed from the aspects of improving standards, improving testing capacity, increasing scientific research and rational distribution of production capacity. The plan requires that the full life cycle resource and environmental impact of various alternative products such as bamboo and wood products, paper products and degradable plastic products be fully considered, and the quality and food safety standards of relevant products be improved. Carry out research on the degradation mechanism and impact of different types of degradable plastics, and scientifically evaluate their environmental safety and controllability. Improve the standard system, standardize the application field, and clarify the degradation conditions and disposal methods. Increase the key core technology research and achievement transformation of degradable plastics, continuously improve product quality and performance and reduce application cost. We will guide the rational distribution of industries and prevent blind expansion of production capacity. Accelerate the scientific research, popularization and application of fully biodegradable agricultural film. We will strengthen the construction of degradable plastics testing capacity, strictly investigate and deal with acts such as false and false standards of degradable plastics, and standardize the order of the industry.
The promotion and application of alternative products is not simply equivalent to the use of degradable plastic products. It is the proper meaning of the policy to promote consumers not to use and use less disposable products. Let's jointly reduce the use of disposable products, moderate consumption and green consumption, and make our own contribution to plastic pollution control. (author: Weng Yunxuan, Secretary General of degradable plastics professional committee of China Plastics Processing Industry Association, Dean / Professor of School of materials and mechanical engineering, Beijing University of technology and industry)