Since the beginning of March, the topic of plastic pollution has attracted much attention.
The fifth United Nations Environment Conference, which closed on March 2, adopted the resolution on ending plastic pollution (Draft). The resolution aims to promote the global control of plastic pollution, which is one of the most ambitious environmental actions in the world since the 1989 Montreal Protocol.
Recently, an article published in the authoritative journal environment international in the field of Environmental Science said that the research team led by the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands found micro plastics in human blood for the first time.
At this year's two sessions, how to control plastic pollution is also a hot topic among CPPCC members.
What problems should be solved in plastic pollution control?
Construction of sorting center
Waste plastics "all accounts receivable"
Plastic products can be seen everywhere, ranging from lunch boxes for fast food, shopping bags, the outer packaging of daily necessities to the insulation layer of buildings, and have gradually become a necessity of life. The attendant plastic waste has also attracted the attention of all countries in the world.
Data show that at present, plastic pollution mainly comes from our consumption of plastics. In 1950, the global annual production of plastic was about 2 million tons; But by 2017, this figure had soared to 348 million tons and was still growing. If unchecked, the annual output of plastics will reach 700 million tons in 2024.
China is the largest producer and consumer of plastics in the world, with an annual output of 76.032 million tons of plastic products in 2020.
"Recycling is one of the important means to solve the problem of plastic pollution." Feng Shouhua, member of the CPPCC National Committee and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said.
In fact, in 2021, China successively issued important policies such as the guiding opinions of the State Council on accelerating the establishment and improvement of a green and low-carbon circular development economic system and the work plan for the construction of "waste free cities" during the 14th Five Year Plan period, which put forward more specific requirements on how to build a circular economic system from the national level. These policies first determine that "resource recovery" is the key to realize the strategic goal of closed cycle of resources.
According to the report released by China material recycling association, China will produce about 60 million tons of waste plastics in 2020, of which the recovery is about 16 million tons, and the overall recovery rate of waste plastics is 26.7%. This means that more than 40 million tons of waste plastics are still buried or incinerated in domestic waste every year.
Although the recovery rate of waste plastics in China has ranked among the highest in the world, in the view of members and experts, there is still much room for improvement to realize the "full collection of waste plastics".
"At present, the biggest problem is that the plastic recycling system is still imperfect, the urban recycling infrastructure is generally imperfect, especially the lack of sorting centers dedicated to recyclables." Feng Shouhua said in an interview with reporters.
Wang Yonggang, Secretary General of recycled plastics branch of China material recycling association, also said earlier that the construction of sorting center is a key link of front-end collection. Although China has garbage removal and transportation facilities of environmental sanitation system, it lacks special collection facilities and networks for recyclables, including transfer stations, packaging stations, sorting centers, etc.
"The most effective way to establish a plastic recycling system is to establish a commercial and profitable recycling model for recyclables. This recycling model can make capital flow into the recycling system through market means, expand the recycling network according to market demand, and improve the recovery rate and total recovery." Wang Yonggang said.
Feng Shouhua suggested that local governments should increase land planning for recycling infrastructure such as sorting centers. At the same time, we should consider providing certain financial support or free land use policy for recycling enterprises in combination with local reality, so as to promote the construction of local sorting centers.
"The government should also encourage recycling enterprises to cooperate with the sanitation system, make full use of the existing recycling facilities, formulate flexible cooperation schemes in view of the high price of land in existing urban built-up areas, and help recycling enterprises reduce the operation cost of front-end collection, so as to realize the 'full collection of recyclables' and high-value utilization." Feng Shouhua said.
Chemical cycle can
Waste plastics "dry and squeeze"
What about some waste plastics that cannot be reused by physical cycle? Li Jinghong, member of the National Committee of the Chinese people's Political Consultative Conference and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: waste plastics are "eaten dry and squeezed out" by chemical circulation.
"The chemical recycling of waste plastics is an effective way to deal with waste plastics that can no longer be reused. It can not only 'eat' the plastic wastes that can not be eaten physically, further improve the comprehensive utilization rate of resources, but also help to reduce the consumption of fossil raw materials required for the production of raw materials and avoid a large amount of carbon dioxide produced by plastic incineration, so as to reduce the carbon dioxide emission of plastic products in the whole life cycle." Li Jinghong said.
In recent years, with the attention paid by various countries to plastic pollution control, especially plastic recycling, many international leading petrochemical enterprises in developed countries regard waste plastic chemical recycling as one of the important ways to achieve the goal of sustainable development and carbon neutralization. According to the prediction of relevant institutions, the global chemical cycle treatment will increase from the current 1% to 13% in 2030.
But Li Jinghong also said, "In recent years, due to the imperfect supporting policies and the great difficulty in technology and product development, the waste plastic recycling industry has made it difficult to guarantee the landing, construction and operation of the project, product quality, safety and environmental protection in the production process, resulting in a series of restrictive measures taken by the state for the industry. If we want to fully release the commercialization potential of chemical recycling technology, we still need to solve some important policy problems."
To this end, Li Jinghong suggested that the planning and design of plastic pollution prevention and control system should take into account a variety of recycling methods including chemical recycling, realize the effective connection with plastic waste recycling end and municipal waste treatment system, and explore the establishment of traceability and certification system of recycled components in chemical recycling products.
At the same time, the terminal application of chemical cycle products should be encouraged and standardized. In terms of policy, it is clear that its application can be equivalent to the application field of primary plastics, enhance the use confidence of brands and consumers, continue to strengthen policy support from finance, taxation and other aspects, and stabilize industry expectations.
"We should also encourage the R & D and innovation of chemical recycling technology, and promote the establishment of an innovation ecosystem integrating industry, University and research and industrial chain cooperation. We should support the development and application of advanced chemical recycling technology and composite chemical recycling technology along different routes. At the same time, we should encourage and cultivate leading enterprises in the industry, strengthen the research and development of waste plastic chemical recycling technology, and actively intervene in the field of plastic chemical recycling." Li Jinghong said.
Ecological design assistance
Realize the green development of plastic industry chain
"To solve the problem of plastic pollution, we not only need to build a perfect waste management system, but also need to realize the green development of the whole plastic industry chain." Li Jinghong said. In his opinion, the ecological design from the source is the core technical problem of the green development of the plastic industry, that is, the recycling and recycling of plastic products should be considered in the design.
In 2021, the State Council issued the guiding opinions on accelerating the establishment and improvement of a green low-carbon circular development economic system, which aims to promote green planning, green design, green investment, green construction, green production, green circulation, green life and green consumption in an all-round and whole process.
The resolution on ending plastic pollution (Draft) adopted at the United Nations Environment Conference also covers the whole life cycle of plastics, including its production, design and disposal.
"Through the follow-up study on the policies and regulations of plastic circular economy in developed countries in recent years, we believe that China, as a large plastic producer and consumer, should accelerate and lead the ecological design of plastic products with a more positive attitude, so as to realize the transformation and upgrading of domestic plastic industry chain and better participate in the competition of global plastic value chain." Man Juan, director of International Exchange Department of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation, told reporters.
It is worth mentioning that China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation and China material recycling association, as upstream and downstream of the plastic industry chain, finally joined hands to lead the establishment of the "Joint Working Group on green recycled plastic supply chain" (grpg), and issued the general principles for the evaluation of recyclable and recyclable design of plastic products (hereinafter referred to as the "Double Easy Guide") in early 2021.
"The biggest feature of the 'Shuangyi guide' is that it not only summarizes the basic principles of ecological design, but also establishes a quantifiable index system to comprehensively evaluate the design of green plastic products, which is leading all over the world." Man Juan said.
In November 2021, Libai group won the excellent rating of "Shuangyi certification" and became the first enterprise in China to obtain the excellent rating certificate of "Shuangyi certification".
It is reported that the plastic flexible packaging that has obtained the "double easy certification" this time has overcome the problem of composite plastic flexible packaging. It is a single chemical structure plastic flexible packaging with complete recyclability, easy recycling and easy regeneration performance, which means that after recycling, it can be remanufactured into similar packaging or other plastic products through physical regeneration.
"It is suggested that the state take the ecological design and construction of plastic products as a special project and incorporate it into the current cross departmental leadership and working system of plastic pollution control in China. At the same time, accelerate the implementation and promotion of plastic ecological design norms such as the" Double Easy Guide "and contribute Chinese wisdom to the green development of the international plastic industry and the negotiation of international conventions." Li Jinghong said.