Eight ministries and departments, including the State Administration for Market Regulation, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the State Post Bureau, jointly issued a guideline on promoting the standardization of green packaging in China’s express delivery industry.

According to the guideline, China aims at setting up a mandatory national standard for green packaging in the country’s express delivery industry by the end of 2022. With a focus on “greening, reducing and recycling” packaging, it outlines the following road map for the next three years.

As immediate next steps following the release of the guideline, the State Administration for Market Regulation will continue to establish a number of standards, covering the full life cycle of design, material, production, use, evaluation, recycling and disposal. A robust and legally binding green packaging standardization system is envisioned to be established by the end of 2020, when a set of critical standards, such as for the selection of packaging materials, will be in place. A mandatory standard for harmless express packaging material is scheduled to be rolled out by the end of 2022 out at the national level, with the prospect of delivering a broadly covering, prioritized and well-constructed standard system for green packaging in the express industry.

The standardization development process and its outputs will also be leveraged to anchor law enforcement in concerned sectors. Efforts will be geared towards elevating and incorporating the new standards and criteria formed along the way into relevant laws, regulations, and policies. It is envisioned that dynamic synergies will be achieved between the guideline, relevant laws, regulations, and policies by the end of 2022.

A robust supervision campaign will soon be launched in 2020 to assess the implementation of available standards while promoting green consumption awareness among the general public. By the end of 2022, a standard-centered full-circle supervision mechanism shall be formed, benefiting from the public and society’s participation.

The guideline’s content partly reflects recommendations developed by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development’s (CCICED) Special Policy Study (SPS) working group on “Green Transition and Sustainable Social Governance.” The BMU advises this SPS and contributed to its recommendations. The Sino-German Environmental Partnership (SGEP) project supports BMU and other German institutions’ contributions to the CCICED.

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