People’s Republic of China

Causes and challenges

China is often regarded as the nation with most marine litter by volume. Of the top 10 rivers with most debris that empty into the seas, seven of them are in China.

The majority of the waste was dumped in the delta regions of the Yangtze and Pearl rivers, both major industrial zones on China’s eastern coast.

Ways Forward

China imposed a ban on the importation of post-consumer plastics in early 2018. Subsequently, China’s National Development and Reform Commission Policy has announced that it will further its measures on preventing marine litter inclusive of bans on non-degradable, single-use plastic straws nationwide by the end of 2020, with the goal of reducing the “intensity of consumption” of such plastic utensils by takeout services in urban areas by 30% by 2025.

Download the SEA circular Country Profile for China for more information

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