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This week China published a five-year strategy which outlines their intent to tackle plastic pollution. The plan will see China expand recycling capacity, as well as measures to combat the overuse of plastic packaging. However, the plans also include an increase in incineration volume.

Meanwhile, Spain is set to ban the sale of fruit and vegetables in supermarkets from 2023. The ban on fruit and vegetable packaging will apply to produce weighing under 1.5 kilograms, and follows similar legislation in France, where it will go into effect next year.

In other news, Morrisons is set to  be the first supermarket in the UK to ban plastic bags sold from all bananas in its stores in a move which will save 180 tonnes of plastic.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

China publishes five-year plastic pollution plan

China has published a five-year plan outlining the nation’s strategy for tackling plastic pollution. The plan will see China’s recycling capacity expanded, alongside the promotion of ‘green’ plastic products. The plan also presents commitments to combat the overuse of plastics within the agriculture and packaging sectors. Additionally, and more contentiously, an increase in incineration volume is outlined. In terms of combatting the overuse of plastics, the proposed plans will see a nationwide ban being imposed on the production of ultra-thin plastic bags, as well as on personal care products that contain plastic microbeads – these are currently already banned in the United States and much of Europe.

Read more here.

Spain to ban sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic wrapping from 2023

The sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic wrapping will be prohibited in Spain’s supermarkets and grocery stores starting in 2023. The measure is part of a decree being drafted by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, according to sources familiar with the initiative. The new regulation also contains measures to encourage the purchase of loose, unpackaged produce and use of non-bottled water. The ban on fruit and vegetable packaging will apply to produce weighing under 1.5 kilograms, following similar legislation in France, where it will go into effect next year. The Spanish executive wants to “fight the overuse of packaging in the most effective way,” said a ministry spokesperson.

Read more here.

Morrisons to ban plastic packaging on all bananas

Morrisons is set to be the first UK supermarket group to remove plastic bags from all bananas sold in its stores. The retail giant said that bananas are the second most commonly bought product in its stores, with the move set to save 180 tonnes of plastic. This will be the equivalent to removing 45 million single-use plastic carrier bags from circulation. Morrisons will replace plastic packaging on bananas with paper bands to keep bunches together, and it will continue to sell some bananas without packaging.

Read more here.

WTO may act against plastic pollution

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) may change its rules to encourage more circular supply chains to reduce plastic waste, a deputy director general has said. Addressing a WTO ministerial conference on marine litter and plastic pollution, Jean-Marie Paugam, deputy director general for trade and environment, said there was a growing recognition that the way we produce, consume and dispose of plastics causes significant damage to our environment and to our health. He added that the accumulation of plastic pollution in the environment puts at risk the ocean and land resources that communities depend upon for their livelihoods.

Read more here.

Mandatory filters should be fitted in washing machines

The Government should introduce mandatory filters to washing machines to reduce microplastic pollution entering the oceans, according to Conservative MP Alberto Costa. The filters would represent action which the Government should and could introduce to help prevent plastic pollution quickly, he said. Speaking in PoliticsHome, Alberto Costa MP described the amount of plastic pollution stemming from clothes washing as ‘staggering’. Microfibre plastic is shed through the wearing and laundering of garments and are part of the wider issue of microplastic pollution, with each use of a domestic washing machine potentially releasing more than 700,000 fibres into our wastewater system.

Read more here.

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