China to launch zero waste city pilot project in 2019

A local resident uses an intelligent waste bin in Shanghai. (Photo/People’s Daily)

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, recently released a work plan for its zero waste city pilot project.

According to the document, a zero waste city refers to one with an advanced urban development and management model.

Through zero waste, the country aims to promote green lifestyles, minimize the amount of waste produced, strengthen recycling programs and ensure that waste released into the environment is harmless.

It is urgent for the country to build zero waste cities due to pollution caused by rapid industrialization and urbanization.

Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics indicated that by May 2018, annual industrial solid waste in the country had reached 3.3 billion tons, and the stock of industrial solid waste had surpassed 60 billion tons, covering more than 2 million hectares.

In response to the mounting problem, China unveiled the pilot project to promote urban solid waste management. It is also an important measure to build a beautiful China.

The document noted that 10 cities would be selected for the pilot program. By 2020, they are expected to become demonstration models for zero waste cities with a comprehensive management system for waste.

Construction of the pilot project will also produce economic and social benefits.

Experts said that the output value of recycling and reuse of solid waste in China is expected to reach 7 trillion yuan by 2030, which will create jobs for 40 million people.

They added that pilot zero waste cities would also upgrade industrial structures and promote a resource-saving and environmentally friendly consumption model.