China China announces plastic control plan in civil aviation sector

single-use plastic to be banned at airports from 2022

The Civil Aviation Administration of China in May announced the Plan for Civil Aviation Plastic Pollution Control Measures 2021–2025 (民航行业塑料污染治理工作计划 (2021–2025年)). The total number of passengers in China’s civil aviation sector hit 660 million in 2019, leading to high plastic consumption at airports and on flights. Considering these circumstances, the administration has developed the above plan to thoroughly implement the State Council’s Opinions on Enhancing Plastic Pollution Control (关于进一步加强塑料污染治理的意见). Measures in the plan include restrictions on the use of single-use plastics at airports and in civil aviation in general. Here is an overview of the plan.

 

Objectives

  • Significantly reduce the consumption of single-use non-biodegradable plastics in civil aviation by 2025 compared to 2020 while significantly increasing the usage of substitute products
  • Establish a smart and standardized recycling system for waste including plastics while enhancing cooperation between the civil aviation sector and plastic pollution control-related industries

 

Measures at airports

From 2022
  • Airports used by 2 million or more passengers annually stop voluntarily providing single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags in their terminals and parking lots.
  • These airports also put a ban on providing single-use non-biodegradable plastic straws, stir sticks, cups, other tableware and packaging bags in groceries, restaurants, rest zones, etc. in their terminals.
From 2023 The measures are expanded to all the airports in China.
Until 2025 All the airports in China significantly reduce the usage of non-biodegradable plastic cargo packaging materials, such as tape, single-use waterproof covers and film.

 

Measures on flights

From 2022 Single-use non-biodegradable plastic straws, stir sticks, cups, other tableware and packaging bags are no longer provided on domestic flights.
From 2023 The measures are expanded to include international flights.

 

According to the Civil Aviation Administration, the civil aviation sector has already begun taking various steps to control plastic pollution. For example, Air China is in the process of switching to reusable tableware, and the airport operating companies of Beijing and Shanghai have made rules for garbage sorting at the airports.

 

The full text of the announcement (in simplified Chinese) is available at
http://www.gov.cn/xinwen/2021-05/26/content_5612499.htm.