Countermeasures on Plastic and Microplastic Garbage Management

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 95)


In recent years, microplastic (MP), a new environmental pollutant, has got widespread attention around the world, and the discussions for (micro)plastic management have been increasing. In this chapter, the laws and actions concerning (micro)plastics management at international, regional, and national levels were presented. The possibility of alternatives for (micro)plastics was analyzed, and it shows that the market promotion of alternatives for single-use plastics is faced with a lot of difficulties, such as the cost of production, the performances of the alternatives, and so on. The alternatives of plastic microbeads, such as core-shell powder and mineral powder, can serve as a practical option to reduce plastic microbeads. Many laws are relative to garbage management in China presently, but there are still no special legislations for plastic garbage management until now. To improve the management for (micro)plastic management in China, some policy proposals are given for Chinese context, including the restrictions to add or sale MPs in personal cosmetic and care products (PCCPs), reduction of other sources of MPs such as textile and tire dust, principle of extended producer responsibility, standardization of the analytical methods of microplastic, reduction of marine litters via international and regional cooperation, establishment of public involvement mechanism, and so on.


China Countermeasures Garbage management Microplastic Plastic 



Authors acknowledge the support received from the project Study on the Source Control and Management Technologies for Microplastics (2016YFC1402206) via the China National Key R&D Program hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.


  1. 1.
    Yixiang D, Kun L, Lihui A et al (2018) Countermeasures on control of plastic litter and microplastic pollution. Bull Chin Acad Sci 33:46–55. Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jiang J-Q (2018) Occurrence of microplastics and its pollution in the environment: a review. Sustain Prod Consumption 13:16–23. Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chris W, Erik VS, Britta DH (2015) Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(38):11899–11904. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Harvey F, Watts J (2018) Microplastics found in human stools for the first time. The Guardian. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  5. 5.
    Ministry of Ecology and Environment, PRC (2018) Bulletin on the State of China’s marine ecological environment. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  6. 6.
    UNEP (2011) Division of early warning, assessment. UNEP Year Book 2011: Emerging issues in our global environment. UNEP/Earthprint, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    UNEP (2014) UNEP year book 2014: emerging issues in our global environment. UNEP, Nairobi. Scholar
  8. 8.
    UNEP-1 (2014) Resolutions and decisions UNEA 1. UNEP, Nairobi. Scholar
  9. 9.
    UNEA-2 (2016) Marine plastic litter and micro-plastics. UNEP, Nairobi. Scholar
  10. 10.
    UNEA-3 (2017) Marine plastic litter and micro-plastics. UNEP, Nairobi. Scholar
  11. 11.
    UNEA-4 (2019) Marine plastic litter and micro-plastics. UNEP, Nairobi. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Government of Canada (2017) Microbeads in toiletries regulations. Government of Canada, Ottawa. Scholar
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
    G20 (2019) Osaka Blue Ocean vision.
  15. 15.
    Molenaar EJ (1997) London convention. Int J Marine Coastal Law 12(3):396–403. Scholar
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
    UN (1982) United Nations convention on the law of the sea 1982, volume VII: a commentary. Brill, LeidenGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kummer K (1999) International management of hazardous wastes: the Basel convention and related legal rules. Clarendon Press, Oxford. Oxford University Press on DemandCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jackson C (2019) Basel COP 14 promotes sound management of hazardous wastes. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  20. 20.
    Heslenfeld P, Enserink EL (2008) OSPAR ecological quality objectives: the utility of health indicators for the North Sea. ICES J Mar Sci 65(8):1392–1397. Scholar
  21. 21.
    European Commission (2016) The European REACH regulation. European Commission, Brussels. Scholar
  22. 22.
    ECHA (2019) ECHA proposes official REACH restriction for microplastics. ECHA, Helsinki. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    European Commission (2018) Directive 2008 /56 /EC of the European parliament and of the council of 17 June 2008: establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (marine strategy framework directive) (text with EEA relevance). Off J Eur Union:19–40Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    European Commission (2018) Microplastic pollution the policy context. European Commission, Brussels. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lassen C, Hansen SF, Magnusson K et al (2015) Microplastics: occurrence, effects and sources of releases to the environment in Denmark. Danish Environmental Protection Agency, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Strand J, Tairova Z, Danielsen J et al (2015) Marine litter in Nordic water. Nordic Council of Ministers, CopenhagenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    European Commission (2010) Industrial emission directive. European Commission, Brussels. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    European Commission (2018) A European strategy for plastics in a circular economy. European Commission, Brussels. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wang T, Li B, Zou X et al (2019) Emission of primary microplastics in mainland China: invisible but not negligible. Water Res 162:214–224. Scholar
  30. 30.
    Siegfried M, Koelmans AA, Besseling E et al (2017) Export of microplastics from land to sea. A modelling approach. Water Res 127:249–257. Scholar
  31. 31.
    OSPAR (2010) The quality status report 2010. OSPAR, London. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Chen C-L (2015) Regulation and management of marine litter. Marine anthropogenic litter. Springer, Cham, pp 395–428. Scholar
  33. 33.
    UNEP (2018) Legal limits on single-use plastics and microplastics: a global review of national laws and regulations. UNEP, Nairobi. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Nordic Council of Ministers (2017) Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  35. 35.
    SPREP (2017) Call for action for SPREP countries on plastic microbeads. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  36. 36.
    Xanthos D, Walker TR (2017) International policies to reduce plastic marine pollution from single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads): a review. Mar Pollut Bull 118(1–2):17–26. Scholar
  37. 37.
    FDA (2017) The microbead-free waters Act: FAQs. FDA, Maryland. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Pettipas S, Bernier M, Walker TR (2016) A Canadian policy framework to mitigate plastic marine pollution. Mar Policy 68:117–122. Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ministry for the Environment (2018) Plastic microbeads ban. Ministry for the Environment, Wellington. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sweden (2018) Prohibition in certain cases in connection with the handling, import and export of chemical products ordinance. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  41. 41.
    Environmental Protection Administration (2017) General instructions for importing, selling and restrictions on the manufacture of cosmetics and personal cleaning products containing plastic particles. Environmental Protection Administration, Washington. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Chemical Watch (2018) Australian government expects voluntary microbead ban to meet deadline. Chemical Watch, Shrewsbury. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Department of the Environment and Energy (2018) An assessment of the sale of microbeads and other nonsoluble plastic polymers in personal care and cosmetic products currently available within the Australian retail (in store) market. Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Eriksen M, Lebreton LCM, Carson HS et al (2014) Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans: more than 5 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tons afloat at sea. PLoS One 9(12):e111913. Scholar
  45. 45.
    UNEP (2019) Addressing single-use plastic products pollution. UNEP, Nairobi. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Giacovelli C (2018) Single-use plastics: a roadmap for sustainability. UNEP, Nairobi. Accessed 26 Aug 2019Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    EU (2015) Directive (EU) 2015/720 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 amending Directive 94/62/EC as regards reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Off J Eur Union 115:11–15Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Commission E (2018) Summary of EU waste legislation on packaging and packaging waste. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  49. 49.
    Commission E (2019) Parliament seals ban on throwaway plastics by 2021. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  50. 50.
    Commission E (2004) Directive 2004/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 11 February 2004 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. Off J Eur Union 47: 26–31Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Commission E (2005) Directive 2005/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 9 March 2005 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. Off J Eur Union 70:17–18Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Commission E (2013) Commission directive 2013/2/EU of 7 February 2013 amending Annex I to Directive 94/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on packaging and packaging waste. Off J Eur Union 37:10–12Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Commission E (2018) Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. Off J Eur Union 150:141–154Google Scholar
  54. 54. (2018) China and Canada issue a joint statement: work together to tackle marine debris. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  55. 55.
    Carman VG, Machain N, Campagna C (2015) Legal and institutional tools to mitigate plastic pollution affecting marine species: Argentina as a case study. Mar Pollut Bull 92(1–2):125–133. Scholar
  56. 56.
    Convery F, Mcdonnell S, Ferreira S (2007) The most popular tax in Europe? Lessons from the Irish plastic bags levy. Environ Resour Econ 38(1):1–11. Scholar
  57. 57.
    O’Neill B (2016) Economic instruments to reduce usage of plastic bags: the Irish experience. Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Wagner TP (2017) Reducing single-use plastic shopping bags in the USA. Waste Manag 70:3–12. Scholar
  59. 59.
    UNEP (2016) Marine plastic debris and microplastics: global lessons and research to inspire action and guide policy change. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  60. 60.
    Howard BC (2019) A running list of action on plastic pollution. National Geographic. Accessed 27 Aug 2019
  61. 61. (2019) Aruba bans all single-use plastic to maintain its environmental lead. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  62. 62.
    The Guardian (2018) Eight months on, is the world’s most drastic plastic bag ban working?
  63. 63.
    McAuley J (2016) France becomes the first country to ban plastic plates and cutlery. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  64. 64.
    Dikgang J, Leiman A, Visser M (2012) Elasticity of demand, price and time: lessons from South Africa’s plastic-bag levy. Appl Econ 44(26):3339–3342. Scholar
  65. 65.
    He H (2010) The effects of an environmental policy on consumers: lessons from the Chinese plastic bag regulation. Working Papers in Economics 17(453)Google Scholar
  66. 66. (2017) Marine environmental protection law of the People’s Republic of China. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  67. 67. (2017) Administrative rules of waste-dumping to the ocean of the P.C.C. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  68. 68. (2017) The regulations concerning the prevention of pollution of sea areas by vessels of the P.C.C. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  69. 69. (2017) Law of the People’s Republic of China on prevention and control of environmental pollution by solid waste. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  70. 70. (2008) General Office of the State Council issued notice on restricting the manufacturing, sale and use of plastic bags. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  71. 71. (2017) Ban import of foreign garbage. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  72. 72.
    Haixu L (2016) Development and trends of biodegradable polymers. Chem Indus 34(3):7–14. Scholar
  73. 73.
    Zheng J, Suh S (2019) Strategies to reduce the global carbon footprint of plastics. Nat Clim Chang 9(5):374. Scholar
  74. 74.
    UNEP (2015) Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter. Misconceptions, concerns and impacts on marine environments. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), NairobiGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    EPA U (2014) Advancing sustainable materials management: 2014 tables and figures assessing trends in material generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery and landfilling in the United State of America. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  76. 76.
    Hong Kong Plastic Bags Manufacturers’ Association (2013) Submission on the “Expanding Plastic Shopping Bag Levy Scheme”. Accessed 26 Aug 2019
  77. 77.
    Güven O, Gökdağ K, Jovanović B et al (2017) Microplastic litter composition of the Turkish territorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and its occurrence in the gastrointestinal tract of fish. Environ Pollut 223:286–294. Scholar
  78. 78.
    Eriksen M, Mason S, Wilson S et al (2013) Microplastic pollution in the surface waters of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Mar Pollut Bull 77(1–2):177–182. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Water Environment Research, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.WEEE Research Centre of Shanghai Polytechnic UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Pinghe Bilingual SchoolShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations