China moves to end its 'ban' on PS food packaging

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

By Steve Toloken
News Editor / International

Published: March 21, 2013 1:07 pm ET
Updated: March 21, 2013 3:07 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Food service

BEIJING — China appears set to end its 14-year-old ban on expanded polystyrene takeout containers and tableware. Authorities on March 20 specifically announced five reasons for the policy change.

Meanwhile, the Chinese media has reported that an alliance of 10 PS container manufacturers paid 4.5 million yuan ($723,721) to a Beijing law firm for lobbying and public relations efforts to lift the ban.

In explaining its decision, the country's National Development and Reform Commission, one of its top economic policy making bodies, said PS food containers comply with national food packaging standards, are recyclable, are widely used in many countries including the United States, Japan, and the European Union, and can help save petroleum resources with its lightweight nature.

The commission added that circumstances had changed since the ban was enacted in 1999, when it was an attempt to curb so-called "white pollution."

Jinghua Times reported on the lobbying effort by the Guangdong Disposable Foam Plastic Food Containers Commonwealth and the JunZeJun Law Offices. According to the report, each of the 10 companies in the group made an initial payment of 50,000 yuan ($8,041) for the effort.

It is not clear what effect lifting the polystyrene packaging ban would have, as the law was not always strictly enforced and PS containers remained widely available in restaurants around the country.

PS containers and tableware could be legally used as early as May 1, according to an article in China's state-run Global Times newspaper. The NDRC first proposed lifting the ban in 2011.

While plastics industry officials maintained that PS packaging is safe and said the problem is a lack of recycling management, some advocates for the ban told media that polystyrene packaging in China is frequently made from recycled materials that may be dirty and not suitable for use in food packaging.


Comments

China moves to end its 'ban' on PS food packaging

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

By Steve Toloken
News Editor / International

Published: March 21, 2013 1:07 pm ET
Updated: March 21, 2013 3:07 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

LiquiForm looks to fundamentally change blow molding process for bottles

March 5, 2015 12:13 pm ET

Those in the know are lifting the veil, just a bit, on fledgling technology being developed that would fundamentally change the way plastic bottles...    More

Image

Bigger doors, windows gain appeal

March 5, 2015 11:43 am ET

Door and window manufacturers are continuing to super-size product lines to make a grander first impression at main entrances and to expand vista...    More

Image

PET makes it possible to have your beer and be sustainable too

March 5, 2015 10:45 am ET

PET could replace stainless steel beer kegs in a material swap product developers say will be more environmentally friendly and cost effective for...    More

Image

Best Places To Work: No. 1, Northstar Recycling Co. Inc.

March 3, 2015 12:29 pm ET

Employee health care benefits have been wasting away, year after year, as companies work to contain costs and keep their bottom lines in shape....    More

Image

P&G adding label to help guide consumers in recycling

March 2, 2015 3:29 pm ET

Procter & Gamble Co. will help prompt consumers to recycle rigid packaging by joining the Sustainable Packaging Coalition's How2Recycle Label program.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events