On April 20th, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) submitted a draft proposal for the “Prohibited, Restricted Production, Sales and Use of Plastic Products Catalogue (Draft for Comment)” (hereinafter referred to as the “Catalogue”) issued by the National Development and Reform Commission on April 10, 2020.
The draft proposal was organized by the CBCGDF Policy and Research Department, and related social organizations, such as Toxics-Free China, were invited to discuss and make comments on the Catalogue. After research, the following recommendations are made:
I. The Catalogue is relatively simple and has a small coverage. It is recommended to further refine and expand the catalogue scope.
At present, the “Catalogue” only covers 13 projects in two categories, which is far from the current status of plastic products in various industries. It is recommended to combine “Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution” to further refine the boundaries and implementation standards of the prohibition and restriction policies for the production, sale and use of plastic products in various fields, and to effectively and effectively control plastic pollution.
It is recommended that the “Catalogue” be refined by the types of industries, such as the food industry, cosmetics industry, etc., to make it more targeted, and it is also conducive to the relevant units and the public to more effectively implement the requirements of plastic bans.
II. Establish a color classification system for plastic products.
In the actual implementation of the “Catalogue”, it is difficult for the public to distinguish plastic products by their thickness or whether they can degrade. It is recommended to establish a color grading system for plastic products, and mark the color of the bottom of the plastic products, indicating that they are from inferior to high-quality grades, which is convenient for the public to choose intuitively and gradually phase out environmentally unfriendly plastic products based on market rules.
III. Add the provisions on the content of alternative products
The “Catalogue” does not stipulate alternative methods or contents of substitutes for prohibited plastic products. It is recommended to add regulations on related content to avoid the situation of “blocking” but not “sparse”.
IV. It is recommended to add plastic products that limit degradation
For plastic products, including non-degradable and degradable, it is correct to prohibit non-degradable plastic products, but non-degradable plastic products also need to be considered prohibited and restricted.
V. It is recommended to prohibit or restrict certain types of plastic products made of PVC and PS
PVC and PS have been proved to be the two types of plastics with the highest environmental health risks. Not only are the monomer residues of certain toxicity, but also various toxic and hazardous chemicals are added to achieve product use.
“Opinions on Further Strengthening the Control of Plastic Pollution” clearly stipulates: “Manufacturers of plastic products must strictly implement the relevant laws and regulations, produce plastic products that meet the relevant standards, and must not illegally add chemical additives that are harmful to the human body and the environment.” In fact, for some types of plastic products, especially PVC products, it is extremely difficult to achieve this, so it is necessary to restrict the use of plastic materials. If a green alternative is achieved in terms of materials, the risk of adding toxic and harmful chemicals will be effectively reduced.
It is recommended that the policy of prohibition be implemented first from PVC and PS plastic products that have a greater risk to human health, especially children and maternal and child health. These items are common: food packaging or containers, such as plastic wrap, beverage cups, etc., children’s plastic toys, mother and baby products, such as baby bottles, pacifiers, etc., as well as student supplies, such as plastic covers and other plastic products for special users. It can be added to the serial number 6 of the “Catalogue”.
Original Chinese article:
By / Maggie