Many disposable plastic products are banned at the end of the year. Are you ready to say goodbye to plastics?

 Many disposable plastic products are banned at the end of the year. Are you ready to say goodbye to plastics?

Residents of Huigu Sunshine Community, Chaoyang District, Beijing collect bags from the Aobei recycling station. Photo by Peng Xun Wen

Jinfa Technology Co., Ltd. produces degradable plastic bags. Source: Official Website of golden hair company

Workers are busy in the plastic modification workshop of Zhuhai Wantong Chemical Co., Ltd. Photo by Dong xueteng

Through the program developed by Aobei environmental protection company, users can view the collection and transportation routes of resources and nearby delivery points. Drawings provided by Aobei company

Some plastic products will be banned. Are you ready? Nine departments, including the national development and Reform Commission, recently issued the notice on solid promotion of plastic pollution control, which announced the detailed standards for banning and limiting plastic products. In January this year, opinions on Further Strengthening the control of plastic pollution was printed and issued for implementation. It is suggested that by the end of this year, non degradable plastic bags, disposable plastic straws and non degradable disposable plastic tableware will be prohibited in supermarkets and bookstores in municipalities directly under the central government, provincial capitals and cities with separate planning.

With the increasing efforts to ban plastic products in various regions, are the public and plastic products enterprises ready to say goodbye to plastics? Can alternative products keep up? How to realize the recycling of plastic resources? Our reporter conducted an investigation.

Residents, communities, property and recycling enterprisesu2014u2014

We can contribute to the resource utilization of plastics

At noon on August 21st, a white bag filled with various plastic bottles and foam was placed at noon. Aunt Huitani Youko, a resident in the residential area of Chaoyang District, Beijing, went to the downstairs recycling resource station - a more than 10 square meter semi underground room.

Come to the door, Aunt Li took out her mobile phone and scanned the QR code on the door. The password appeared on the screen above the door. Enter the password on the mobile phone and the door will open automatically. Inside the house, several bags full of recyclables have been put in order. On the other side of the wall, a row of new bags hung on the bag machine. Aunt Li put the bag, and then scanned the QR code on the new bag with her mobile phone, pa, the lock of the bag machine popped open, and Aunt Li took the new bag. Aunt Li said: in the past, the waste plastic at home was mixed and thrown into the garbage can. Now this small station is open 24 hours a day. There are many kinds of recycled things and some income. Its very convenient.

The construction of recycling station is strongly supported by community and property. Liu Chunhong, director of Huigu Sunshine Community, said that the construction of the small station is expected to solve some problems of garbage classification encountered by the community before. If the pilot effect is good, it will be further promoted. Beijing Sunshine JIAYE Property Management Co., Ltd., which is responsible for the management of the community, undertakes the construction and maintenance costs of the small station. Xiuzongquan, the companys project leader, said that the company introduced Aobei environmental protection company to provide professional services, which provided convenience for owners to participate in waste classification. This mode can reduce the amount of waste and reduce the potential safety hazard of plastic waste in the corridor.

Plastic, which people come into contact with almost every day. With the development of e-commerce, express delivery, delivery and other emerging formats, Chinas consumption of plastic products, especially disposable plastic products, continues to rise. According to the data provided to us by the recycled plastics branch of China Materials Recycling Association, in 2019, China will produce about 63 million tons of waste plastics, with the overall recovery rate of 30%, ranking the top in the world.

The key to do a good job in garbage classification lies in the reduction, recycling and harmless treatment. As a kind of renewable resources, plastics will greatly reduce the waste of resources and energy if it can be recycled. However, due to the great difference in recycling value and sorting cost of different plastics, how to classify and recycle plastics has always been a difficult problem to be solved.

Our original intention is to solve the problem of garbage sorting with technological innovation, not to make money by collecting waste products. Lu Bin, head of the Beijing area of Aobei environmental protection company, the operator of the small station, said that the recycling station adopts intelligent self-service management mode, and applies intelligent technology to the recycling, cleaning, sorting, income statistics and other processes of renewable resources including plastic products. Residents can easily handle the problem from buying bags to recycling and finally confirming their income with a two-dimensional code.

At present, the station provides 14 kinds of recyclable resources, among which 5 are PET bottles, PE bottles, foam, rigid plastics, plastic bags and so on.

Office buildings can also participate in recycling. In Donghuan square, Dongcheng District, Beijing, the bag machine is installed at the front desk of the building. The owner only needs to send the bags to the designated area of Yinda property company to participate in recycling.

In beilibei community, guangximen, xiangheyuan street, Chaoyang District, Beijing, Aobei recycling station has been running for more than a year. There are more than 2000 households in the community, and more than 500 households participate in it. Speaking of changes, the Secretary of the community Party committee Zhang Hongxia has a feeling: now plastic, foam and other resources have basically entered the recycling station, and the community elderly and young people have been involved in the classification of other waste awareness has also increased.

R & D enterprises sayu2014u2014

Traditional plastics are laid off, biodegradable plastics can take over the job

With the establishment of the National Plastic ban schedule, various localities have launched a number of plastic ban and restriction policies. When traditional plastics are laid off, who will replace them? According to the opinions on Further Strengthening the control of plastic pollution, it is proposed to promote the use of degradable shopping bags and degradable packaging films (bags), promote the use of degradable plastic bags and other alternative products in the field of catering delivery, and strengthen the research and development of degradable alternative materials and products.

Can the degradable plastics on the market take over? In some R & D companies, the answer may be found.

These days, in the workshop of Zhuhai Wantong Chemical Co., Ltd., Jinfa Technology Co., Ltd., located in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, workers are busy producing plastic products such as shopping bags, express bags, agricultural films and so on. After 16 years of research and development, the company has an annual production capacity of 60000 tons of biodegradable polyester synthesis and supporting modified special materials, and has mastered a number of core technologies of biodegradable plastics.

These white and black plastic products look like ordinary plastics, but they behave differently in the natural environment.

Compared with the white garbage which can disappear for hundreds of years, under composting conditions, more than 90% of all biodegradable products can be decomposed by microorganisms within 30 days, and enter the nature in the form of carbon dioxide and water; under non composting conditions, some of the completely biodegradable products that have not been treated by the waste treatment plant will be gradually degraded within two years. Guo Defan, strategic project director of Jinfa Technology Co., Ltd., said that the biodegradable plastics produced by the company meet the international and national authoritative standards. He said that in the process of using all biodegradable products, we should still do a good job in garbage classification, fixed-point disposal and centralized treatment, and should not be discarded at will.

So, what standards should plastic products meet before they are considered biodegradable? International relevant standards stipulate four tests: first, biodegradation test, the material can be decomposed by microorganism and converted into carbon dioxide; second, disintegration test, the material can disintegrate in the process of composting, without white pollution; third, biocompatibility test, compost residue can not have negative impact on biological growth process; Fourth, heavy metal content test, can not contain heavy gold It has an effect on compost residues. Only through these four tests can they be recognized as biodegradable plastics.

Price is one of the main factors affecting the popularization and application of degradable plastics. It is understood that the price of a biodegradable plastic bag is generally two to three times that of ordinary plastic bag.

Guo Defan said that the price of all biodegradable products mainly depends on the R & D cost, synthetic monomer price, processing and production efficiency, etc. with the governments ban and restriction order, more R & D forces participate, and the scale effect of the industry will expand, and the price will gradually decrease.

Industry experts saidu2014u2014

To solve plastic pollution, it is necessary to break through the upstream and downstream industrial chain

In courtyard B 48, Zhongguancun South Street, Beijing, we observed that a resident provided disposable gloves and poured kitchen waste into the kitchen waste bin, and then put the garbage bag into the other garbage bin.

Recently, some members of environmental protection organizations have formed a garbage classification observation group, and with the help of the garbage map function of the blue map app, volunteers are mobilized to take pictures of the garbage classification work in the community.

In garbage classification, will residents put kitchen waste and kitchen waste bags separately? Do milk cartons go into other trash bins or recyclables bins? Should the tape on the foam be torn off? The disposal of these waste plastics was one of the missions observation points.

Xie Xinyuan, policy director of the zero waste project of Beijing friends of nature foundation, is one of the volunteers. He said that if the garbage bags are made of biodegradable plastic, the connection needs to be considered. On the one hand, the complete degradation of biodegradable plastics needs to meet the specific conditions of industrial composting, such as temperature, humidity, strain, etc., so the construction of industrial composting facilities is the premise of using degradable garbage bags. On the other hand, at present, many residents use ordinary plastic bags as garbage bags. If these plastic bags enter the kitchen waste bucket, the treatment of kitchen waste will be affected. Therefore, relevant departments should coordinate the relationship between degradable plastic bags and garbage classification, and teach residents to put in degradable plastic bags and ordinary plastic bags correctly.

Experts suggest that the use scope and applicable level of degradable plastics should be clarified. For example, the use of degradable plastics should be given priority to packaging materials in contact with food and plastic bags containing kitchen waste. For the industry which is difficult to use degradable materials on a large scale, reusable products should be promoted.

Plastic pollution involves a wide range of areas, pollution control needs to focus on joint management, open up the upstream and downstream industry chain. According to the opinions on Further Strengthening the control of plastic pollution, by 2025, a management system for the production, circulation, consumption, recycling and disposal of plastic products should be basically established, and a pluralistic co governance system should be basically formed.

How to get through the industrial chain? Industry associations can play a role. The joint working group on the supply chain of green recycled plastics, established at the end of June this year, is considered to be a good start. The working group is led by China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation and China material recycling association, and jointly sponsored by 16 leading enterprises in the industrial chain.

To solve the problem of plastic pollution is a systematic project. We should link the source reduction, product design, middle end recycling, processing and application of back-end recycled products to form a closed-loop beneficial to plastic recycling and recycling. Wang Yonggang, deputy head of the joint working group, said.

According to a complete set of plastic production and recycling system, the first step is to set up a complete set of plastic production and recycling standards. For example, in the construction of the standard system, we will establish guidelines for the design and evaluation of recyclable and recyclable plastic products, the cleaner production evaluation of recycled plastics, the evaluation indicators of green recycled plastics, and the requirements for the production and marketing supervision chain of green recycled plastics.

To fundamentally solve the problem of plastic waste pollution, we have to rely on reduction and recycling. For those who use recycled packaging, shared bags and other durable goods for reuse, it is more worthy of innovation and promotion. Xie Xinyuan said.

outside the box

A glimpse of Japans plastics recycling strategy

In May 2019, the Japanese government released the plastic resource recycling strategy, which mainly includes:

One is the reduction of plastics. To reduce the use of disposable plastics; to speed up the development and utilization of substitutes for plastic products; to speed up the development of new packaging with less environmental load and can be used repeatedly; to advocate public use and develop sharing economy; to extend the service life of articles through maintenance.

The second is plastic recycling, recycling and reuse. In addition, it is necessary to improve the recycling system of domestic resources.

Third, the use of renewable materials, biomass plastics. To improve the practicability of biomass plastics to replace plastics from the source of fossil fuels; to promote the widespread use of renewable materials and biomass plastics by low-carbon product certification; to use biomass plastics in designated bags for combustible waste in principle.

Fourth, marine plastic countermeasures. To prevent the plastic waste from flowing into the sea and cause pollution; to promote the innovation of substitutes.

Fifth, international cooperation. Actively promote the construction of detection and research network around the world.

The Japanese government has set a corresponding timetable: in terms of emission reduction, 25% of disposable plastic emissions will be reduced by 2030. In terms of recycling, the goal of doubling plastic recycling (about 2 million tons) by 2030 will be achieved.

(source: recycled plastics branch of China Material Recycling Association)

Source: Peoples Daily Overseas Edition editor: Qiao JunJing_ NBJ11279