2020-09-26 (Saturday)
27oC / 81%Céu

GOV’T TO BAN IMPORT OF STYROFOAM NEXT YEAR

Environmental advocates reacted to the government’s announcement to ban the import of Styrofoam takeaway boxes into Macau.

They think the proposal is a good step to reduce plastic pollution in the city, but want the authority to do more.

Official figures show that Macau produces about 1,400 tonnes of household waste every day—much more than its regional neighbors.

According to the State of the Environment Report of Macau, the recycling rate of solid waste in the SAR last year was lower than in the previous year, while the amount of solid waste increased during the same period.

Some lawmakers have called on the government to improve waste treatment and recycling facilities in Macau.

And during Thursday’s legislative assembly plenary session, Agnes Lam has raised the issue of banning the use of disposable plastic materials in the city.

In response, the director of the Environmental Protection Bureau said that they are planning to disallow the use of disposable plastic products phase by phase.

Besides, he said that they also consulted authorities on banning the import of styrofoam starting next year.

The move was seen as good progress by environmental advocates in Macau.

«We agree on the government decision to ban this product because this kind of product from the process of manufacture, it releases a lot of toxic to the environment. So I think it’s a global trend to stop using this kind of dangerous material.»

«It was good news. But of course, we want them to do more. Because the styrofoam is just a very small amount of plastic in Macau. So it’s still a baby step in Macau but I’m happy to see that the government is taking the small step but to work the long-term goal, to ban the single-use plastic.»

They also said that while it’s a good step ahead, it wouldn’t have a significant impact on reducing waste in Macau.

They’re still urging the government to enforce regulations that will substantially cut the use of single-use plastic in the city.

«We have to go back to the main issue. The main problem comes from the PET. Although this kind of plastic is recyclable, but take up a very big proportion in the daily domestic waste product, almost make 30 percent of all domestic waste, and only around one-third of them can be recycled, most of them we throw in the incinerator because of the pollution and we can’t recycle. So, the government should have another series of actions.»

If the proposal does actuate, Macau will follow a similar measure of other cities in the world that have already started the ban on the use of styrofoam products.

These include New York, Seattle, and Washington DC in the US, as well as Vancouver in Canada.

The European Parliament this year also agreed that by 2021, the bloc would prohibit almost a dozen single-use products including plastic plates, and Styrofoam cups, and take-out food containers, among others.

 

 

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