scourge of the seas: how china is tackling the ocean's plastic problem - plastic film packaging
With Earth Day coming, whether we have seen pictures of Blue Planet II or of whales and other marine creatures hungry for plastic ingested, we are becoming more and more aware that marine plastic is a threat. -and worsening --problem.
China's role on this issue is crucial, especially since 5 million tons of plastic entering the ocean each year is estimated to be 8 million tons from China.
But there are signs that stricter environmental regulation by the Chinese government will have a positive impact on marine plastics.
Forbes: five Asian countries dump more plastic into the ocean than any other country.
Dragon's wonderful podcast, Eight Million.
I had the privilege of reaching out to plastic experts and Doug wuddin, founder of the ocean recycling alliance, and last week, before he launched the Ocean Film Festival during his trip to Earth Day celebrations in Hong Kong, he called.
The Ocean Recovery Alliance has advocated the circular plastic economy through a number of initiatives.
So what is China's biggest move so far?
There is a lot of rubbish in China. -
According to McKinsey, China was the world's largest garbage collector before banning "foreign garbage" and imported more than 50% of the world's final products. of-life plastic.
In 2016 alone, China imported about 87% and 69% of goods from Japan and the United States. S.
Export of plastic waste.
A plastic bottle in Osaka or New York is likely to be available in China.
In turn, China is recycling waste plastics to supplement its raw resin raw materials for the production of plastics, which is the world's largest producer of plastics (at about 25%).
The side note is that China's economy is now moving in a higher direction.
Overcapacity in the petrochemical industry has reduced demand for imported plastics.
JB: Can you explain the meaning of China not taking world garbage anymore?
DW: China does a good job, they do more than the USS.
Congrats should be received.
We should celebrate what happened.
What the world needs is the impact on onshore technology and solutions.
I call it the biggest land"
Tsunami never seen in the world.
Most Western cities don't know what to do.
All of them were troubled by the plastic problems they used to move offshore.
Woodringnotes of Australia says that as a result, some of its cities will bury more plastic in landfill sites.
On the other hand EU this reaction more thoughtful announced to 2030 all plastic packaging (
2 out of 3 of plastic waste in the area)
It must be recyclable, with the goal of recycling 55% of plastic waste by then.
Why is the recovery rate of plastic so low?
DW: only 10% of the plastic is recycled in the world, and a lot of plastic is recycled
Global investment in processing the growth of plastic materials.
Why is it so expensive, this is a good analogy
If you make an omelet of eggs, cheese, peppers, mushrooms, someone says, "Go and regroup it into its original form," That's what makes plastic valuable.
Woodring notes that unless oil prices are much higher, it is always cheaper to make new plastics than to recycle them.
He believes that the three things that contribute to increasing global recovery rates are: smarter product design, better sorting of waste logistics in collection, and paying higher prices to landfill sites, which he believes
JB: What's the problem with the way we separate garbage?
DW: that's basically what our waste system says today, "throw everything in a black bag with your food, grease, water and coffee.
It quickly zero the value of all these resources.
Unless you sort it correctly, you end up with a confusing paste at the beginning, which is why cleaning costs are higher, grind and classify all types of plastic instead of just making an original batch.
China has asked 46 cities to start garbage sorting and achieve a 35% recovery rate by 2020. -
Although there is uncertainty about the implementation of the proposed standard, the appropriate classification is "wet "(think greasy)
Dry waste is not only in China, but also has a huge impact on the recycling economy worldwide.
This means separating food from other organic foods and turning them into waste. to-
Energy factory, simple to send-to-
Recycled plastic (like PET)to be recycled. (
Recyclable plastic, marked 1 or 2 in the United StatesS.
Liquefaction at their melting point can be re-liquefiedused, non-
Like recyclable items in plastic bags, self-sealing bags and plastic silverware, just burn).
In China, garbage is generally disposed of by pickers, even now. pickers clean up garbage dumps, usually without protective devices, collecting metals, paper, etc.
For resale to municipal facilities.
McKinsey found that only 11% of plastic is recycled in China, and more than 80% of marine plastics are unrecycled waste.
It is not surprising that the situation in China is different from that in the Philippines or other countries, because the amount of garbage entering the dump is different from the amount of incinerators or open-air landfills.
But in five countries (Including China)
McKinsey estimates that this is the source of most marine plastics, and a better collection infrastructure can reduce leakage by 50%.
Integration and empowerment of waste
In China, the pickers face many health risks.
China is making garbage. to-energy (incineration)capacity --Waste-to-
Energy can take many forms and, among other things, generate electricity or make fuel.
In general, this is a way to deal with the "low" problem
It is not easy to recycle the value of "plastic.
This is not only right for China, it is faster than any other country, but also for the world.
Most experts, including Woodring and McKinsey, favor different forms of waste --to-energy for low-value plastics.
At historedxwanchaitalk, Woodring said that 50% of the plastics used today belong to this category.
About 90% of the garbage is not recycled and leaked into the ocean, where they are easily broken down into micro-wasteplastics. "Waste-to-
"Fuel is definitely one of the most important things on Earth," says Woodring.
You can make these things clean diesel.
McKinsey estimates high manual ranking
Value of plastic waste (for recycling)
Convert most of the rest into rejectionderived fuel (RDF)
Used in the cement industry, it can replace 3% of the total coal consumption of more than half of the marine plastic sources in five countries every year.
China's plan to increase waste is of concern. to-
Energy facilities so fast--
Despite the potential interests of the countryof-the-
In terms of art and technology, the standards for the construction of many fear plants will be reduced.
If China is trying to build an "ecological society", it is only one of them how to deal with plastic.
By taking action, especially through import bans, China can help the world deal with plastics in a more circular way.