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As China tackles plastic pollution at home, it feeds the scourge globally


Last October, the Hong Kong government announced a cobbled-together plan to reduce the city’s climate-changing levels of pollution and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As one prominent feature of that plan, it declared its intent to “regulate disposable plastic tableware in phases from 2025 onwards.” 

While some might understandably see this as embarrassing evidence of the government’s derisory policies on climate change, it at least shows that officials are very slowly waking up to the scourge of plastic that blights the environment.

Pieces of plastic utensils on a Hong Kong beach. Photo: Greenpeace.

Perhaps Hong Kong officials were taking a lead from Beijing (as is their reflexive wont nowadays), where the government has declared war on plastic waste, most recently in 2020 when it called for the phaseout of single-use plastics.

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