Discussion on Circular Economy and Moderate Packaging

With the development of the market economy, various forms of "over-packaging" behavior have emerged. It has not only harmed the interests of consumers, but also caused a waste of limited resources and serious environmental pollution.


It took 20 years for China's packaging industry to go through the long-term development history of 40 years in developed countries, but it has failed to circumvent the perplexities of high consumption, waste, and heavy pollution.


According to data analysis, packaging waste accounts for about two-thirds of waste generated in the United States, and 42% for Japan's annual solid waste. Among the various wastes in China's large and medium-sized cities, about 25 to 30% of the waste is packaged. From the point of view of the output value of packaging, Shanghai's annual output value alone has reached more than 30 billion yuan, and the total tonnage of various packaging materials and packaging products (including paper and paperboard, wood, metal, plastic, glass, and other materials and containers). When it is more than 30 million tons (not including the weight of the packaging machinery and the printing of the printed quantity), what is the concept that its packaging waste accounts for 30% of the total amount of garbage? No matter from what point of view, "packaging" is definitely a big consumer of resources. With a slight reduction, its savings and value are considerable. According to another scientist's prediction, rubbish that is now regarded as “waste” will become a “treasure house” for the development of human resources in the future. It can also be concluded that implementing packaging reduction, implementing “moderate packaging” and curbing “excessive packaging” is to reduce the amount of packaging materials, reduce the waste of limited resources, and eliminate pollution in the continuous development, environmental protection, and development of circular economy. The effective way to maintain an important area of ​​human health.


Looking at the path that developed countries have taken in this respect, taking Japan as an example, after 1957, the backward state that entrusted Western design packaging was removed. With the advent of supermarkets and the realization of plastic materials, the packaging industry has developed rapidly. However, with the development of high speed, there has been criticism from the society that packaging is “too big” and “excessive”. That is, the pollution caused by packaging, from the use of paper and plastic disposable containers thrown out, flooding into the public hazards of the city, caused concern from all walks of life and proposed recovery methods, the government and social organizations to formulate relevant regulations to limit. (For example, Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry has formulated the “New Guidelines for Packaging”, and professional industries have formulated appropriate packaging product standards, etc. According to relevant foreign materials, many countries have formulated relevant regulations for packaging according to their national conditions. Recycling Treatment Regulations, an "ecological tax" developed by Belgium, stipulates that all foods packed in paper and reusable packaging can be exempt from tax, other materials must be taxed, and so on.


In recent years, relevant departments of the Chinese government and packaging industry organizations have also started to formulate some provisions related to packaging, but the implementation effect is not obvious and effective. For example, the “Solid Waste Pollution Prevention and Control Law,” which will be implemented on April 1, will include more stringent controls on packaging and increase producer liability. In 2002, the "Cleaner Production Promotion Law" was enacted to require the selection of packaging materials and the recycling of packaging. The National Development and Reform Commission has organized the "Administrative Measures on the Recycling of Compulsory Packaging." The National AQSIQ National Legal Metrology Management Technical Committee has formulated the “Rules for the Inspection and Inspection of Net Content of Prepackaged Commodities”, mainly for products such as foods and cosmetics, to avoid misleading consumers with the dimensions and weight of external packaging.


The Shanghai municipal government has also organized special investigations and formulated some related plans and measures in vigorously developing a circular economy and developing a policy of conservation-oriented development with Chinese characteristics. For instance, the Shanghai Municipal Packaging Commission organized the Shanghai Packaging Association to carry out a special study on the “reasonable use of packaging materials” to thoroughly understand the status quo and put forward suggestions for rational use. Afterwards, the Shanghai Municipal Economic Commission promoted the reduction, recycling, and harmlessness of waste in Shanghai; implemented a new three-year action plan for environmental protection in Shanghai, and issued policy measures on source reduction, classified collection, and resource reuse. Following this, the organization carried out more targeted special studies on “enhancing packaging reduction and over-packaging” to try to formulate the first draft of the “Interim Measures for Moderate Packaging in Shanghai”. Industries such as: representatives of high-end foods, health products, cosmetics, wines, and beverages represented by mooncakes held discussions. After the revisions and supplements to the first draft, they were submitted to the city's leading authority for consideration.


In the “moderate packaging” interim measures that are being developed and will be implemented, because the nature and characteristics of different industries and commodities are different, the materials and containers that are suitable for them are also different. The quantitative measure of “moderateness” is the Ministry of Commerce. The relevant regulations are divided into two categories: "daily necessities packaging" and "non-daily necessities packaging"; in addition to limiting the volumetric space rate and packaging cost ratio of general merchandise packaging, non-daily necessities (such as high-end foods and cosmetics , health care products, etc.) also distinguish the nature of different characteristics, the formulation of the professional standards for the implementation of packaging standards. It is known that the moon cake packaging in high-end foods has set out the “Interim Measures for Mooncake Packaging in Shanghai”; the cosmetics industry has also proposed “Implementation Rules for Provisional Regulations for Appropriate Packaging in the Cosmetic Industry” (first draft) according to the “Interim Measures for Moderate Packaging in Shanghai”; Appropriate protection function, appropriate materials for use, appropriate volume and volume, and reasonable cost and expense principles set the rules for the implementation of industry self-regulation.


To sum up, it is a systematic, social, and long-term project to implement appropriate packaging, control over packaging, promote packaging reduction, and implement sustainable development of circular economy strategic measures. The face of thousands of various kinds of commodity packaging, hundreds of millions of people's different consumer psychology, as well as the drive of commercial competition and profits, the stubborn presence of traditional habits and fashion comparisons, etc.; not a few papers that can easily achieve results. To this end, in order to achieve the desired ideal state for the entire implementation work, the Shanghai Municipal Government has instructed relevant departments to continuously strengthen publicity and education so as to enhance the implementation of circular economy strategies and promote appropriate packaging measures by all relevant industry and enterprises and the general public. The correct understanding, while strengthening the "over-packaging" consciously resisted immunity; establish a good way to save the simple life, and work together to promote environmental protection, save resources, and sustainable development of the recycling economy for the future generations. benefit!

Article Source: Baolian World

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