China's research and application of biodegradable plastics began in 1980s with the attempt to promote the industrialization of this product in China. Now, the premise is getting mature to promote the biodegradable plastics in a national scope. The consumption of plastics bags in China per year generally reaches 100 billion, equal to 5 million tons of petrochemical resin raw materials. The lack of scientific classified garbage collection and recycling system is a major reason to hinder the promotion of biodegradable plastics in China's market, and the production cost of biodegradable plastics is much higher than traditional polyolefin plastics, so the competitive advantage of biodegradable plastics is not so obvious in the short run. Therefore, the policy support from the government will play a vital role in the future development of the industry.
At present, the operation and utilization of biodegradable plastics are highly recognized in various places in China. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hainan have launched pilot classified garbage collection and recycling system in each administrative region successively. Xinjiang, Northeast Region, and Yunnan, etc. have launched the pilot utilization of agricultural plastic films. Yunnan Provincial Government has issued regulations about the prohibition of production and sales of plastics, and this prohibition is about to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2015.
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Although biodegradable plastics still cannot completely replace the common petrochemical plastics in some certain application fields due to the absence of some properties, in view of the future market space, experts believe that the application of biodegradable plastics in garbage bags, plastic films, and shopping bags, etc. will certainly represent a promising prospective. According to conservative estimation, the demand of biodegradable plastics in China will reach 3 million tons. Therefore, there will be millions of market spaces in China's biodegradable plastics industry.
China is one of the most important supplying places for global biodegradable plastics products. According to rough estimation of Huidian Research, by the end of Jun. 2014, the production capacity of China's biodegradable plastics amounted to 700,000 tons per year. With the painstaking efforts of Jilin and Yunnan Provincial Governments and the Central Government's high concern about the environmental protection, many enterprises have begun to launch the construction and expansion of the production capacity of biodegradable plastics.
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