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2023

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Under the limitation of plastic vents, ecological intelligence creates new opportunities for the development of the plastic industry?


In recent years, environmental issues have undoubtedly become a hot topic in the process of economic development, especially after the "dual carbon" policy, green sustainability has become a wind vane for the long-term development of various industries. The industry is rapidly expanding around the main line of "carbon neutrality". After new energy vehicles and photovoltaic industries are favored by capital, the development of degradable plastics and ecological plastics, so as to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide generated in the production and incineration of plastics, has also become the focus of the consumer to achieve "carbon emission reduction".

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China's plastic product production has increased from 58.306 million tons in 2010 to 80.04 million tons in 2021, maintaining a stable growth trend. Plastic products not only provide convenience for daily life, but also become the main culprit of environmental pollution. The harm of white pollution such as microplastics to humans is gradually returning to the dining table. At the same time, the dual pressures of sustainable economic development and environmental protection have deepened people's demand for biodegradable materials, which also points the way for the transformation and upgrading of the traditional plastic industry.

Under the limitation of plastic vents

Image source: Unsplash

Plastic restriction leads the ecological cycle, and the industry develops towards low-carbon direction

With the rapid development of industries such as express delivery and food delivery, the use of plastic products as important packaging materials has also increased exponentially. While driving the rapid development of the plastic industry, the treatment of plastic waste and the "white" pollution caused by improper treatment have become urgent problems that need to be solved in various regions.

According to statistics, out of a total of 9 billion tons of plastic products produced worldwide, only 9% are recycled, 12% are burned, and the remaining 79% are in landfills or flowing into the natural environment. The huge amount of use and waste is not only a waste of land resources, but also has an impact on soil quality, exacerbating river pollution, farmland pollution, and marine plastic pollution.

To address this drawback, since 2020, multiple ministries such as the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment have successively issued policy documents on plastic pollution control, such as the "Opinions on Further Strengthening Plastic Pollution Control" and the "Notice on Solidly Promoting Plastic Pollution Control", prohibiting or restricting non degradable disposable plastic packaging.

However, for plastic restriction, the key word is not "prohibit" but "replace", which means not completely "prohibit" the use of plastic, but to reduce the use of plastic products to a certain extent and scope, or replace non degradable materials with ecologically degradable and other materials, and replace disposable plastic with reusable plastic.

As a green ecological and environmentally friendly material, eco-degradable plastics differ from ordinary plastics by shortening the degradation cycle of ordinary polyolefin plastics from over 300 years to 2-3 years through eco-plastic technology. The degradation products are non-toxic and harmless, do not produce microplastics, and can directly return to the ecosystem, solving the secondary pollution of plastic products to the environment from the source. With the gradual implementation of plastic restriction policies, the market size of degradable plastics has seen significant growth, especially in industries such as express packaging, takeout, and hotels, where demand growth continues to rise. Degradable plastics have ushered in new development opportunities.

From the development of the industry in the past five years, the average growth rate of consumption of eco-degradable plastics in China is around 20%. In 2019, due to production restrictions, the domestic consumption of eco-degradable plastics was about 260000 tons, which is basically consistent with production. At this growth rate, it is expected that the demand for biodegradable plastics will exceed 650000 tons in 2024.

"Turn white into green" ecological plastics help low carbon cycle

In January 2019, the "Shandong Science and Technology Think Tank Forum and the First White Pollution Prevention and Ecological Plastic Development Forum" hosted by Qilu University of Technology and the "the Belt and Road" International Think Tank of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was held in Jinan, Shandong Province. The forum aims to accelerate the development of the ecological economic system by exploring typical cases in the prevention and control of white pollution, innovative ecological technologies, and new forms and models of green industry development. In addition, the forum also focuses on the research and promotion of ecological plastics, which is of great significance for promoting the further development of the ecological plastic industry in Shandong.

As a major agricultural province in China, Shandong has always held a leading position in the production and use of agricultural plastic products. In recent years, the province has extensively promoted the protection of vegetable cultivation and encouraged vegetable exports. Therefore, in addition to key areas such as Zibo, Shouguang, and Linyi where agricultural film is used, there have also been concentrated areas of agricultural film consumption such as Yantai and Laiyang.

At the same time, the increasingly serious "white pollution" in farmland has quickly attracted industry attention to the development and application of degradable plastic film replacement technology. Therefore, Shandong has also cultivated a group of high-quality enterprises related to degradable plastics. In terms of ecological plastic technology, Shandong Tianzhuang Environmental Protection Technology Co., Ltd. adds self-developed EBP degradation masterbatch to the production process of ordinary polyethylene products. Without changing the performance of the original plastic products, it accelerates the transformation into water, carbon dioxide, and soil organic matter through light or thermal oxidation and environmental microbial action, returning to the ecosystem and achieving degradation.

As a local enterprise growing up in Shandong, Tianzhuang Environmental Protection relies on a mature technical team and has successfully developed a complete series of ecological plastic products, including covering packaging, agriculture, and other ecological plastic products, mainly based on ecological plastic bags and ecological plastic mulch, after more than ten years of scientific research and research. With the experimental demonstration and application promotion of ecological plastic technology nationwide, ecological plastic film has been applied to over 6 million acres, and 1.5 billion ecological plastic bags have been exported.

With the rapid development of technology, technological means have also become an important path to promote the green development of the plastic industry. In December 2022, Qingdao Huicheng Environmental Protection Technology Group Co., Ltd. proposed the chemical recovery "trans phase cracking" technology at the first Eco plastic Low carbon cycle Industry Development Forum, that is, the conversion of low value plastics into chemical raw material triene triphenyl, gradually replacing incineration and landfill, and replacing petroleum resources with garbage, which can not only effectively control plastic pollution, but also achieve efficient utilization of hydrocarbon and cleaning of chemical cycle process. In addition, Shandong Senna Plastic Industry Co., Ltd. is also accelerating the production of biodegradable plastic tableware in promoting the use of biodegradable materials to replace traditional plastic production. Currently, it has reached an annual production capacity of 2 million pieces.

As a major plastic production city in China, the pace of transformation and upgrading of the degradable plastic industry in Rizhao is also accelerating; According to statistics, there are over 800 plastic product production enterprises in Rizhao City, with an average daily output of over 3000 tons. In order to seize the prospects of degradable plastics, the local government has also created an industry university research platform to assist in the green transformation and upgrading of the plastic industry.

From the perspective of industry development in recent years, circular economy is an important development direction for the plastic industry and also the upgrading and transformation direction for Shandong plastic enterprises. In the future, the Shandong plastic industry will also promote industrial green circulation through technological research and development and technological means, helping the industrial economy and ecological environment to develop simultaneously.