China to tackle global plastic pollution in tandem with WTO members: ambassador
Published: Jun 14, 2022 12:04 PM Updated: Jun 14, 2022 11:58 AM
Plastic bag usage in supermarket Photo: Xinhua
Plastic bag usage in supermarket Photo: Xinhua

China is willing to tackle the global challenge of plastic pollution with other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), China’s ambassador to the WTO Li Chenggang said on Monday.

Li made the remark at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, during the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference which is taking place from June 12 to 15. 

China will closely cooperate with WTO members and promote relevant prevention and control work targeting plastic pollution under the WTO framework, according to Li. 

“Addressing global challenges requires the world to work and cooperate together,” Li said. 

Li noted that China attaches great importance to tackling plastic pollution and is one of the first WTO members to take measures to deal with plastic pollution.

He also added that sustainability is one of the goals for China's economic and social development, and in recent years China has introduced a series of policies to limit plastic pollution. China is willing to share its experience with other WTO members and work together to actively address plastic pollution from an economic perspective. 

China has established a relatively complete waste plastics recycling system, with the recycling volume for waste plastics ranking the first across the globe, according to a think tank research report targeting China’s implementation and practice on controlling plastic pollution released in April.

China's material utilization accounts for 45 percent of the world. The material recycling volume reached about 19 million tons in 2021, with a recycling rate of 31 percent, which is 1.74 times of the global average level for waste plastics, and has achieved 100 percent domestic material recycling, the report noted. 

In comparison, the local material recycling rates of the US, EU and Japan during the same period were only 5.31 percent, 17.18 percent and 12.5 percent respectively.

Li said that China is the initiator and currently one of the six co-coordinators of the WTO's Informal Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade (IDP), an initiative that has now attracted 72 WTO members to cosign. The work has achieved “encouraging” progress following the ministerial statement issued under the IDP at the end of 2021. 

Global Times