The plastics and rubber materials industry will be one of the first sectors in China to face charges for emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Starting Oct. 1, plastics and rubber material producers will be imposed charges for VOC emissions such as non-methane hydrocarbons (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, aromatic), oxygen-containing organic compounds (aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, ethers, etc.), halogenated hydrocarbons, nitrogen-containing compounds, and sulfur-containing compounds.
According to the new regulation, announced by the Ministry of Finance, Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the charges will be levied based on a “pollution equivalent” number calculated by dividing the weight of emitted VOCs (in kilograms) by a benchmark number — which is tentatively set at 0.95 kilograms.
Emissions will be measured by direct measurement, material balance and modeling. Different emission sources will be distinguished.
While Beijing decides the standards, enforcement and collection will fall on the shoulders of local environmental protection agencies. The levied funds will be turned over to the state treasury into general public budget.
In addition to plastics and rubber materials, other impacted industries include oil refining, organic chemical feedstocks, synthetic fiber, warehousing and packaging printing.