4.8 Country Case Studies


Banking on biodegradables

China is both the biggest producer and biggest consumer of plastic in the world.

It has a significant and growing plastic pollution problem and was, until 2018 the number one destination for exported plastic waste from other countries, such as the US, EU and Japan. China shook the world of waste in 2018 by banning such imports and has an appetite for big policy moves to mobilize against plastic pollution.

However, corporate action has been lacklustre, with many of the most polluting brands in China barely mentioning any responsibility for plastic pollution. In addition, a short-sighted focus on clean-ups and switching to biodegradable and compostable alternatives shows limited ambition to tackle the problem at source.

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