China China Released the “Guideline for Classification and Label Standard of Biodegradable Plastic Products”

On September 13, 2020, the China National Light Industry Council released the “Guideline for Classification and Label Standard of Biodegradable Plastic Products”, which make a further explanation of  the concept and definition of biodegradable plastic, and make specific requirements for biodegradable plastic label in five aspects, the scope, the definition and classification of products, the measurement methods for degradation performance, the requirements of the label, and the styles and standards of the label.

At the same time, the guideline also requires that enterprises which produces or sales the relevant products, or use the relevant products such as the retailors or restaurants, should implement the national policies and measures for combating with plastic pollution, and enhanced the management of labeling and procurement for relevant products based on the requirements of  the guideline.

The guideline was drafted by the China National Light Industry Council under the guidance of the State Administration for Market Regulation and other ministries, with the participation of the Institute of Plastic Processing and Application of Light Industry, and the Degradable Plastics Committee of China Plastics Processing Industry Association. In the process of making the draft, lots of supports received from the China National Institute of Standardization, the China Plastics Processing Industry Association, the China General Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, and opinions were publicly collected through the Internet and other media. Then the guideline was released after deliberation.

The Guidelines stipulate that biodegradable plastics may be labeled with text and picture. Label in text style should include the type of product (ex. resin, main material, specific material, film, chip material, box, or glass), product standards or  measurement methods standards for degradation performance, product name (environmental conditions for degradation and the detailed product name), the specification of the product (length, width, thickness, weight) and the material type.

Label in picture style, in the center of the label is a double “j” (the initials of “degradable” in Chinese pinyin), with three circular circle which stands for the recycle, and the right one of the double “j” is bigger than the left one, which embodies the design concept that from the young to the old , everyone should protect the environment. In the bottom of the label, the abbreviation of the material type, the degradable environment etc. are written.

According to the China National Light Industry Council, the China General Chamber of Commerce, and the China Plastics Processing Industry Association, in the future, they will encourage related enterprises to implement the guideline, enterprises that produce biodegradable plastics apply the guideline for labeling, and then enterprises such as distributors and restaurants can make the selection based on the label. Besides, the State Administration for Market Regulation also plans to make the national standards for biodegradable plastic products to improve the development of the relevant industries.