China is banning plastic bags this year
China will ban non-degradable plastic bags in supermarkets and shopping malls in major cities by the end of 2020, according to the country’s state planner. The National Development and Reform Commission announced on January 19 that the plan will also include phasing out disposable plastic containers, utensils and courier packages from the country’s ubiquitous online shopping and food delivery industry.
Beijing’s infamous smog may be a thing of the past
Beijing’s air quality has improved significantly since the start of the “war on pollution” seven years ago, according to official figures. In 2019, the capital’s average concentration of PM2.5 – the most harmful small particles and a key indicator of air pollution – fell to their lowest levels since its air quality monitoring network started operating in 2013. The 2019 average concentration of 42 micrograms per cubic meter was 53% lower than the 2013 figure of 89.5, according to the municipal ecology and environment bureau. The average concentration of PM10 particles and nitrogen dioxide were 68 and 37 micrograms per cubic meter, both in line with national targets. Although some pollution l
Justice of a kind for victims in a first-ever lead poisoning case
After a four-year legal battle, seven families in central China have reached a settlement with a chemical company over lead exposure to their children. The case is a rare success story for victims of industrial pollution in China, and it potentially shows a path for other claimants to seek justice for the adverse consequences of China’s relentless growth over the last few decades. It was the first lead poisoning case in China to have gone through the entire judicial process before a settlement was reached.   Lead poisoning cases have been widespread in China. For example, between January 2009 and May 2011, there were at least 17 incidents of factories with lead poisoning alone, according to
Face masks on: pollution is back in Beijing
After a winter of clear blue skies, pollution is back in the Chinese capital, with air quality returning to its usual hazardous levels. Thick smog and sandstorms are blanketing Beijing. Pedestrians are once again pulling out masks and scarves to cover their faces when they venture out. Here’s what Beijing residents and visitors are saying about the pollution. Pollution particles Beijing authorities issued a fourth-level Blue pollution alert after PM levels rose on Wednesday. PM, which stands for particulate matter, are tiny drops of polluting matter that can cause serious health problems when ingested. The smaller the size, the more dangerous the particle. On Wednesday morning, the average