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Call to reduce plastic pollution at the China International Circular Economy Exhibition & China Circular Economy Development Forum in Nanjing, China

IUC-Asia project partners are showing a strong presence at the China International Circular Economy Exhibition & China Circular Development Forum – which is currently taking place in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. The flagship event is aimed at establishing a global platform for displaying and trading technologies, equipment, products and management software for recycling resources. It follows China’s long-term strategy of building a complete green and low-carbon circular economic system, promoting the conservation and recycling of resources.

In his opening speech, Mr. WEN Hua, Deputy Director General of the Environment Protection and Resource Conservation Department, NDRC, reiterated the importance of high-level dialogues, practical cooperation and private sector collaboration to tackle plastic pollution. He suggested to establish a guiding committee, think tank and industrial cooperation force to address the challenges. Mr Davor PERCAN, Unit Head for Bilateral and Regional Environment Cooperation, EU DG for Environment, made a point for reducing and minimising waste and following the circular model in the light of increasingly limited resources and environmental degradation around the world. He drew on the successes of the 54 Actions of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, as adopted in December 2015, which helped the EU to fast track its transition towards a circular economy. Calling for keeping ambitions high, he urged to particularly reduce the use of and pollution by plastic, citing that the EU intends to prohibit the single use of plastic by the end of 2021.

As for the implementation of circular economy strategies, expert suggestions from China included the use of biogas digester for agricultural waste, cement plants to burn garbage and tires, green transportation, regulation of packaging waste (as already practiced in the EU) & energy efficient industrial parks. In turn, from the EU it was suggested to improve the economics and quality of recycling, drive investments and innovations towards CE & curb plastic waste and littering. The City of Manchester (England) introduced their 5-year environmental carbon-neutral plan that involves local industries to use environmentally friendly materials & a move towards alternative buying models to implement CE strategies – another innovative move away from plastic.

The event is co-organized by the China Association of Circular Economy & the China World Trade Center Co., Ltd. with support from the EU Delegation to China, GIZ, various foreign embassies, trade missions and chambers of commerce. It will conclude on 22 October 2019.

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