Affected by the epidemic, the global demand and consumption of plastic products are increasing. After these plastic products are discarded, they have caused great damage to the ecological environment. Plastic waste such as masks and gloves are washed to remote beaches, and plastic packages for food and express delivery are piled up in landfills. The treatment of plastic pollution is imminent. In order to curb the impact of plastic waste on the environment, governments around the world have taken countermeasures to promote the implementation of policies. Relevant enterprises also respond to the government's environmental protection initiatives and pursue sustainable management.
On April 18, 2012, a worker carried away garbage at a plastic waste recycling seminar in the Bahrain area of Cairo, the capital of Egypt.
The reuse of plastic waste is difficult and becomes a burden
According to the UN report, up to 5 trillion plastic bags are used in the world every year. The world's 9 billion tons of plastic products can only be recycled by 9%, and most of the rest will eventually be landfilled or flow into the natural environment. Plastic waste, which is difficult to degrade and low recycled, brings a great burden to the environment and economic development.
According to statistics, South Korea produces about 70000 tons of marine garbage every year, of which plastic garbage accounts for an alarming proportion. According to the data of 2019, plastic garbage accounts for 81.2% of all marine garbage, which is the largest factor causing the death of a variety of marine organisms.
According to the data of South Korea's Ministry of environment, the reuse rate of plastic products in South Korea was only 34.4% in 2017. According to the analysis of South Korean environmental protection experts, after the recycled plastic waste is transferred to the treatment facilities, it cannot be reused due to the adhesion of some foreign matters and the decline of quality, and is ultimately destined to be destroyed.As a country surrounded by the sea, plastic waste is a serious threat to Australia's marine environment. According to the Australian Ministry of agriculture, water resources and environment, about 80% of marine garbage is plastic. It is estimated that by 2050, marine plastics will exceed the weight of fish.
In addition, people cause a lot of plastic waste in their daily life. Australians use up to 10 million plastic bags a day, up to 4 billion a year. Eventually, about 150 million will flow into the sea and waterways, and the plastic dumped in the sea will reach 8 million tons a year. According to the data released by the Australian environment department, only 14% of plastic waste in the country is recycled every year, including only 3% of plastic bags.
According to statista website, in 2018, Germany produced about 19 million tons of plastic products, accounting for about one third of the total plastic products in the EU. Germany produces an average of about 39 kilograms of plastic waste every year, far exceeding the EU average of 33 kilograms.
In the UK, about 700000 plastic bottles become rubbish every day. Only 57% of the 30 billion plastic bottles used by British households each year are recycled. According to the latest data in 2019, more than 370000 tons of plastic can be recycled in the UK every year. Compared with 2000, the recovery of only 13000 tons increased significantly, but most of the plastics were eventually transported to landfills and incineration sites. Lead to a broken situation and governments solve problems
Actively dealing with plastic pollution is related to the protection of the world's ecological environment and the high-quality development of national economy. Facing the problem of plastic pollution, governments of various countries have issued relevant policies to strengthen the recyclable and classified collection and disposal of plastic waste.According to the 2019 national waste policy action plan, Australia will ban the export of waste plastics, paper, glass and tires from the second half of 2020 and destroy problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025. At present, most Australian state and territorial governments prohibit the use of disposable light plastic bags. In some states and territories, discarded plastic bottles can also be sent to designated places for recycling in exchange for change. According to the Australian retail association, the overall consumption of disposable plastic bags in Australia has decreased by more than 80% since the restriction order was issued by the country's two largest supermarket chains in July 2018.
In 2018, the UK released a new resource and waste strategy, which comprehensively changed the treatment of plastic waste. Businesses and manufacturers will pay all costs for recycling or disposing of packaging waste, including cars, electronics and batteries. In addition, in 2018, the British government signed the global commitment for a new plastic economy of the Allen MacArthur Foundation, which is committed to accelerating the transformation to a plastic circular economy.
In recent years, Germany has formulated some environmental protection policies to reduce plastic waste. After 2015, local supermarkets no longer provide disposable plastic bags for free, and the consumption of plastic bags has decreased by 64%. At the end of 2018, the German Ministry of environment put forward the "five table plan". This includes banning the use of disposable plastic packaging, advocating environmental protection packaging, strengthening the use of recyclable plastic products, not mixing plastic into organic waste, opposing marine waste, promoting the sustainable utilization of plastic products, etc. in response to the EU's ban on the production of disposable plastic products that came into force in 2021, the German government decided to ban the sale of a variety of plastic products in July 2020.
In May 2018, the Ministry of environment of the Republic of Korea issued the comprehensive countermeasures for the treatment of recyclable waste, reducing plastic waste by half by 2030, increasing the reuse rate of plastic waste from 34% in 2017 to 70%, and increasing the use of disposable products by 2022
Previously, the Korean government stipulated that consumers should not provide disposable cups when enjoying drinks in coffee shops. From August 1 this year, the South Korean Ministry of environment began to try to reduce the use of plastic products. If businesses do not listen to customers' opinions and directly provide disposable cups, they will be fined. In addition, after 2021, coffee shops are forbidden to pack and provide disposable tableware provided by takeout free of charge. After 2022, plastic straw and plastic mixing rod will also be banned.
The South Korean government said that manufacturers who suffered losses due to the restrictions on the use of disposable products will be given a certain "business conversion subsidy" to compensate for some business losses. For businesses in coffee shops and traditional markets, the Korean government plans to provide support by providing tableware cleaning equipment. At the beginning of 2020, China's national development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of ecological environment issued the "opinions on Further Strengthening the treatment of plastic pollution", which required that the use of non degradable disposable plastic straws in the catering industry throughout the country would be prohibited by the end of 2020. Experts believe that the output of plastic straw accounts for only 0.036% of the total output of plastic products, but it has a high degree of attention, and the prohibition has a strong demonstration effect on the whole society.
Help environmental protection enterprises promote the "new plastic economy"
In January 2016, the world economic forum in Davos issued a report entitled "new plastic economy - Rethinking the future of plastics", which put forward the vision of establishing a plastic circular economy for the first time. The purpose is to use the principle of circular economy to prevent plastics from becoming waste forever. As countries around the world strengthen regulation, relevant enterprises have also innovated technology, developed relevant environmental protection products, and promoted the vision of plastic economy to face reality through actions.
At the 2020 Australian National Plastics summit, the industry issued several important statements to show how enterprises can meet the challenge of plastic waste. Among them, pact group, Australia's largest rigid plastic manufacturer, announced an investment of a $500 million for facility upgrading, research and technology upgrading to increase the use of sustainable packaging. By 2025, increase the recyclable components in this product portfolio to 30%. Qantas plans to reduce 100 million disposable plastic products such as cups, tableware and lunch boxes by the end of 2020 and replace them with compostablethings.
In response to the call of the South Korean government, South Korean enterprises have joined the ranks of environmental protection. Local comprehensive food enterprises set up a marine plastic waste management group to carry out the "three-year plan" to reduce marine pollution. For the 40 fishing vessels under management, the management team will reduce the use of plastic products on board by 65.4% within three years. In addition, the company's subsidiary has successfully developed ultra light and environment-friendly glass bottles to replace colored plastic bottles for beer.
Asda supermarket in the UK has packaged fresh agricultural products with a new plant coating, which has been approved by the European Commission. Cupclub, a start-up company in London, uses the electronic label technology in the field of Internet of things to design a cup recycling system and set up recycling points in cities so that people can use reusable cups like renting bicycles. McDonald's and Starbucks earlier this year
In 2019, 30 enterprises including BASF, a German chemical enterprise, established the "plastic waste end alliance" in London. These companies plan to invest a total of $1.5 billion by 2024 to invent technologies to improve waste recycling. In addition, at the Pentecost furniture factory in Berlin, many creative companies in Germany "turn waste into treasure". They make all kinds of tables, chairs and cups from plastic bottles and disposable cups that people throw away every day.
On July 16, 2019 local time, the French cultural center in Hanoi, Vietnam held an art exhibition called "reduce the litter". According to statista statistics, in 2018, only 4.5% of Germans bought plastic bags when buying food, 57% did not buy disposable plastic bags when shopping, and 72% supported charging for plastic bags. Plastic waste related demonstrations and art exhibitions were held frequently throughout Australia, and people's awareness of plastic reduction was enhanced. "All consumers must recognize the importance of reducing the use of plastic products. Only through the efforts of all individuals can we achieve real environmental effects," said a researcher at the Korean National Academy of ecology
Controlling plastic pollution and promoting the establishment of a "new plastic economy" are inseparable from the active participation of ordinary people. With the promotion of national policies in various countries, people's awareness of environmental protection is also improving, and plastic pollution will become a problem sooner or later