Future China plastic green development can be expected

- Jan 04, 2020-

On November 22, 2019, a statement from the director of the department of resource conservation and environmental protection of the national development and reform commission (NDRC) caused another stir: "the NDRC will issue a new 'plastic limit' and study the greening of packaging."

"Limit plastic to make" resurgence, to the development of green environmental protection plastic is injected into the needle.


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In recent years, China's plastic products industry has been developing rapidly, and the total output and sales of plastic products have been growing steadily.

From 2011 to 2016, China's output of plastic products rose rapidly from 544.431 million tons to 77.172 million tons, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.41 percent, according to the statistics bureau.

The output of plastic products in China maintained rapid growth from 2015 to 2016, declined from 2017 to 2018, and accelerated in 2019.


Plastic products with light weight, low manufacture cost, function characteristics such as widely used widely in information, energy, industry, agriculture, transportation, space and Marine development of national economy in various fields, such as with steel, wood and cement together constitute the four basic materials in the modern society, is one of the basic materials to support the development of modern society.


The large application volume of plastic products is obvious to all, and the subsequent waste plastic products cannot be 100% recycled, and the non-degradation of plastic products after landfill brings great harm to the environment.

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Progress has been slow for more than a decade, but the national development and reform commission is back to drawing up new rules.

Environmental protection, degradable plastic demand is strong, the future of China's plastic green development into a priority.


At present, China's plastic market is still dominated by traditional plastics, and green environment-friendly plastics are still in the "embryonic" stage of development, covering the following fields: recycling, recycling and biodegradability.


Currently, PLA and PBAT are the main biodegradable materials used in the Chinese market, while PBS and PHA are slightly involved. This kind of biodegradable materials can be completely degraded by completely replacing the raw materials.

And filling starch and calcium carbonate to reduce the use of traditional plastic is also widely used, but it does not achieve the goal of complete degradation of plastic particles, just replaced by a smaller situation, can not achieve the purpose of relieving environmental pressure.


The comparison of the properties of degradable plastic materials in China


At present, both photooxygen degradation and biodegradation are involved in the market, and due to the degradation time, the degree of degradation and whether it can really reduce the burden on the environment and other factors, the products in China's biodegradable plastic market are relatively chaotic.

The use of degradable plastics, not only the replacement of raw materials, additives and the use of master materials, production process transformation, and even the replacement of production equipment, the use of environmental testing need to constantly test and modify.


Currently, both PLA and PBAT, biodegradable materials with high heat, are in short supply in China, and the promotion of biodegradable materials cannot be sustained at the source.


In terms of cost, the degradable plastic bags of the same specification are heavier than those of ordinary plastic bags, with a mass ratio of about 3:4. Excluding the cost of degradable raw materials, the cost of degradable plastic bags is 1.3 times that of ordinary plastic bags.

Add up the cost, the cost to increase 2-3 times.


And terminal market looks, each enterprise has already responded to green environmental protection concept in succession.

In terms of express delivery, sf express and post have gradually tried to use biodegradable packaging bags and express bags.

In the e-commerce platform, jd, Meituan, ele. me and so on have also begun to try;

Fast food, KFC, dexus, starbucks and so on have been gradually in the trial;

Other food and clothing packaging brands have also been in the use of green packaging.


The future development


At present, the development of China's degradable plastic market still faces great obstacles, no matter in terms of raw materials, technology, cost, consumer acceptance, and whether traditional plastics can be replaced, all of which bring certain difficulties to the current degradable plastic market.

However, at present, the country is responding positively, and the production enterprises are gradually transforming under the change of consciousness, and the terminal enterprises are accepting the call one after another.

In the future, the pressure on the environment caused by plastic products may not depend entirely on biodegradable plastics, and there may be a more accepted technology (modification, additives, etc.). With the progress of science and technology and the continuous exploration of scientific researchers, China will make significant changes in green environmental protection.