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September 30, 2020

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Shanghai measures to cut use of plastics

SHANGHAI is rolling out tough measures to reduce plastic use and waste in the city, effective tomorrow.

By the end of 2020, all shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, bookstores and major events will not be allowed to provide single-use plastic bags to the public.

Wet markets should also regulate plastic use, and by the end of 2023, single-use plastic bags will be banned.

“As early as in 2007, China has rolled out measures to curb plastics, and those measures need upgrades. For example, under past measures, the public could receive plastic bags if they paid for them,” said Zhou Qiang, vice director of Shanghai Commission of Development and Reform.

“Under the new rules, people will not get plastic bags even if they pay, because sellers will not be allowed to provide plastic bags to consumers,” Zhou added.

The take-out food and delivery industries are also the focus of the new measures.

China Post’s outlets in Shanghai will take the lead in prohibiting using nondegradable plastic bags by the end of 2021. Nondegradable plastic tapes will not be used by the end of 2023. By the end of 2021, all upscale hotels in Shanghai cannot voluntarily provide single-use plastics to consumers.

“The fight against plastics is a gradual process and it cannot be solved at once. People’s sense of reducing plastic use and protecting the environment has been building gradually after earlier regulations on plastics and new waste-sorting rules,” Zhou said.


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