China is currently facing a plastic crisis, and one way they planned to face it was by switching to biodegradable plastic. Unfortunately, China’s ability to degrade plastic is being outpaced by new plastic production.
It’s a well-known fact that China is, by far, the biggest plastic producer on the planet. In an effort to fight this problem, the country has implemented a variety of single-use plastic bans on different items.
For instance, there is a plastic bag ban in effect.
However, despite being aware of the problem and trying to limit plastic usage, production continues to outpace everything.
Biodegradation is Not Quick
A common misconception is that biodegradable products break down very fast in the wild. However, that is simply not true. In reality, it takes several months to fully degrade, and that’s with a special catch.
They require specific industrial treatment at high temperatures to fully degrade.
Thus, even if the biodegradable plastic finds its way into a landfill, it will take a long time to completely deteriorate. As a result, even if they switch to more environmentally friendly material, the facilities cannot keep up.
Not to mention that these materials must be disposed of properly to get to the correct facilities.
Big Infrastructure Changes Are Necessary
The switch to biodegradable plastic is a good move. But the biggest dilemma is that most cities in China do not have the infrastructure to handle the material. Or to put it more simply, there aren’t enough facilities to handle this material.
If the country wants to make s difference, it must build or transition existing facilities to meet the demand. Of course, the other alternative is to produce less plastic, but that is not likely.
It is also worth pointing out that China takes in waste from other countries around the world. However, it has put restrictions on the quantities and type of rubbish it will accept.