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To control plastic pollution, China proposes a good idea of "bamboo"

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Disposable tableware made of bamboo shoot shells is in short supply in the food and beverage takeaway market; bamboo winding products such as bamboo winding pipe corridors are popularized and applied in some municipal projects; bamboo container bottoms are waterproof and not easy to break, and gradually become the new favorite of the industry… in Conspiring Green At the moment of development, bamboo, an ancient species, is creating more possibilities to replace plastics due to the empowerment of technology.

Recently, China and the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization jointly launched the "Replace Plastic with Bamboo" initiative to give full play to the outstanding advantages and role of bamboo in controlling plastic pollution and replacing plastic products, and provide nature-based solutions for high energy consumption and refractory plastic products.

From scientific research results to corporate practice, to national actions and global initiatives, China's good intention of "bamboo" will make positive contributions to accelerating the implementation of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Experts said that the "Replace Plastic with Bamboo" initiative demonstrates China's responsibility and practical actions in addressing climate change, and will definitely have a major impact on further promoting global green development.

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Pollution control is imminent

Everyday plastic waste may seem insignificant, but it is a matter of great concern to the global environment.

According to an assessment report released by the United Nations Environment Program, of the 9 billion tons of plastic products produced in the world, only 9% are currently recycled, another 12% are incinerated, and the remaining 79% end up in landfills or into the natural environment.

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It is imminent to control plastic pollution. Practice has shown that finding plastic substitutes is an effective way to reduce the use of plastics, reduce plastic pollution, and solve problems from the source.

Yin Gangqiang, Secretary of the Party Committee and Deputy Director of the International Bamboo and Rattan Center of the State Forestry and Grassland Administration, said that China and the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization jointly proposed the "replace plastic with bamboo" initiative because of the increasingly serious threat of plastic pollution to human health.

The reporter learned that the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization is the first intergovernmental international organization headquartered in China, and it is also an international organization dedicated to the sustainable development of the bamboo and rattan industry. Since its establishment 25 years ago, the number of member countries of INBAR has grown from the initial 9 to the current 49, promoting the vigorous development of the world's bamboo and rattan industry.

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It is reported that the "Replace Plastic with Bamboo" initiative proposes that countries formulate support policies for "Replace Plastic with Bamboo" to provide policy guarantees for the global development of "Replace Plastic with Bamboo", promote scientific and technological innovation, encourage scientific research, and provide support for "Replace Plastic with Bamboo". Create conditions for new technology utilization and new product development. Increase the publicity of "replacing plastic with bamboo", and widely publicize the advantages of bamboo in the fields of packaging materials, construction projects, and daily necessities through expert forums, exhibition demonstrations, and public activities at different levels at the international, regional, and national levels.

There are many materials that can replace plastic, why choose bamboo?

Bamboo slips, fans, bamboo umbrellas… In the long history, bamboo has often been processed into various utensils. In today's world, the development and utilization of bamboo has also penetrated into various aspects, and the products are diverse and rich. "At present, more than 10,000 types of bamboo products have been developed, covering all aspects of people's production and life, such as clothing, food, housing, and transportation." Lu Wenming, deputy director-general of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, said.

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"Compared with other biomass materials, bamboo has unique physical and mechanical properties such as high elasticity and toughness, good compression and tensile strength along the grain." Yin Gangqiang explained that bamboo can be used from bamboo leaves to bamboo roots , Even bamboo waste can be used as activated carbon, and the bamboo products after use are completely degraded naturally, and will not have harmful effects on the environment.

Plus, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. For example, moso bamboo can grow up to 1.21 meters per 24 hours at the fastest, and it can mature in 4 to 5 years, and shoots grow new bamboos every year, with high yield, and can be used sustainably in one afforestation.

Bamboo is widely distributed and has a considerable resource scale. According to statistics, there are more than 1,600 known species of bamboo plants in the world, and the area of bamboo forests exceeds 50 million hectares, mainly distributed in Asia, Africa and America.

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It is worth mentioning that the carbon reduction and carbon sequestration capacity of bamboo is far superior to that of ordinary trees. "The latest research shows that one hectare of bamboo forest and its bamboo products can fix 300 tons of carbon within 60 years, and under the same conditions, Chinese fir forest can fix less than 200 tons of carbon." Luan Junwei, a researcher at the International Bamboo and Rattan Center, introduced roughly It is estimated that if the world uses 600 million tons of bamboo products to replace PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a plastic decoration material) products every year, it is expected to reduce 4 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

"Therefore, under the background of actively building a community with a shared future for mankind and vigorously promoting the construction of ecological civilization, China and the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization jointly issued the initiative of 'replacing plastic with bamboo', which is very timely and very important. It is a major decision based on reality and facing the future. .” Yin Gangqiang pointed out.

"Intelligent Manufacturing in China" keeps on innovating

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How much industry can a piece of bamboo leverage? The answer may be beyond imagination.

In recent years, many Chinese companies have been working hard to "intelligently manufacture" bamboo products that can replace plastic products, and actively explore new ways of "substituting plastic" for bamboo products.

On November 21, in Chizhou City, Anhui Province, in the production workshop of Anhui Hongye Group, the machine roared, and bamboo straws "flowed" continuously from the production line.

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"After the 'Plastic Ban' was implemented, a large number of paper straws appeared on the market, but they have problems such as being easy to soften when exposed to water." After learning that bamboo products are anti-scald and durable, Yin Yin, chairman of Hongye Group, Bright sees business opportunities: "Bamboo species with a certain wall thickness, such as moso bamboo, can be made into bamboo straws of different sizes through steps such as cutting, drawing into cylindrical bamboo sticks, grinding, fixing, drilling, and disinfection."

Since 2017, Hongye Group has spent more than 10 million yuan in the pain and difficulty of bamboo straw processing. It has successively developed advanced equipment such as bamboo straw intelligent equipment, intelligent selection equipment, and intelligent polishing machine, and has obtained a number of patents.

"Now, we can produce about 2.4 million bamboo straws every day." Yin Mingliang told reporters, "In the past, we mainly exported bamboo clips and bamboo chopsticks. In recent years, bamboo straws that conform to the concept of green innovation and development are more popular. Overseas markets are welcome, and orders are increasing.”

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Technological innovation turns "bamboo" into gold. Another private enterprise, Minqing Hanghua Wood Industry Co., Ltd., has also made many achievements in the field of bamboo product research and development.

Since 2003, Minqing Hanghua Wood Co., Ltd., located in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, has used bamboo to produce container floors. General Manager Mao Wenbin told reporters that as a high-tech enterprise, the company has invented a total of 38 utility model patents, including bamboo-wood composite container floors, container floors with cushioning functions, and container floors that can be quickly laid.

"The container floor is the main load-bearing structure of the container. Compared with other materials, the bamboo floor has stronger toughness and better compression resistance, and is suitable for all kinds of containers." Mao Wenbin believes that with the advancement of science and technology, bamboo products have unlimited potential. The application is possible, and the development prospect of bamboo industry is broad.

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The processed bamboo products can even be used as building materials.

At the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services, different from the common concrete pipe gallery, China Forestry Products Group displayed a section of bamboo winding pipe gallery with an inner diameter of 3.6 meters, which feasted the eyes of the audience.

"Limited by the area of the exhibition area, this product is not the largest specification." Liu Naiming, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of China Forestry Products Group, introduced that the maximum diameter of the bamboo winding pipe gallery can reach 8 meters, and each section of the pipe gallery is 12 meters long. "In fact, besides the bamboo winding pipe gallery, we have many kinds of bamboo winding products."

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Bamboo winding products are new composite materials that use bamboo as the base material and are processed and formed by winding technology. "Because of its advantages such as light weight, high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, wind and earthquake resistance, long service life, and low cost, it can also be processed into large-diameter composite pipes, pressure pipes, and integrally assembled houses. It is widely used in Transportation, municipal administration, water conservancy, construction and other fields provide important solutions for biological carbon reduction and carbon sequestration." Kong Xiangtao, business manager of the enterprise management department of China Forestry Products Group, told reporters.

It is understood that bamboo winding composite pipe products have been deployed and promoted in water supply, drainage, farmland irrigation and other projects in Zhejiang, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang and other places. Among them, the "Bamboo Wrapped Composite Pipe Water Supply Project in Lingang Industrial Park, Junan County, Linyi City, Shandong Province" was selected as a "Typical Case of Key Energy-saving Technology Application" by the Energy Conservation Center of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"The popularization and application of bamboo winding products will greatly reduce the use of plastic and steel, and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the production process." Kong Xiangtao said.

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Benefit bamboo, let benefit the people. According to analysis by industry insiders, most of the enterprises that focus on "replacing plastic with bamboo" are close to the bamboo producing areas and take root in the countryside. This provides jobs for the surplus labor force in surrounding villages and towns, broadens the channels for farmers to increase their income and become rich, and effectively promotes rural revitalization.

According to the "Opinions on Accelerating the Innovation and Development of the Bamboo Industry" jointly issued by 10 departments including the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and the National Development and Reform Commission, by 2025, the total output value of the national bamboo industry will exceed 700 billion yuan, the modern bamboo industry system will be basically completed, and the scale of the bamboo industry will increase. , quality, and benefits have been significantly improved, and the development of the bamboo industry has maintained a leading position in the world. By 2035, the total output value of the national bamboo industry will exceed 1 trillion yuan, the modern bamboo industry system will be more complete, the beautiful rural bamboo forest landscape will be basically completed, and the main bamboo products will enter the high-end of the global value chain, and my country will become a strong country in the world's bamboo industry.

"Replacing Plastic with Bamboo" Benefits the World

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Once the initiative of "replacing plastic with bamboo" was put forward, it aroused widespread concern from the international community.

The World Trade Organization recently held a working meeting on "Informal Dialogue on Plastic Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastic Trade" in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss how to promote the "Plastic Pollution Prevention and Control Initiative" and the "Replace Plastic with Bamboo" initiative, two initiatives initiated by China. Initiative docking cooperation.

At the meeting, WTO members such as the United Kingdom, Ecuador, and the Philippines responded positively to the "Replace Plastic with Bamboo" initiative, saying that they would work with China to strengthen cooperation with the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, and actively promote the formulation of an international policy that is conducive to "replace plastic with bamboo" products. Trade policy and international standards, etc.

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Cameroonian Ambassador to China Martin Mbana, the government representative of the chairing country of the INBAR Council, said that the initiative of "Replacing Plastic with Bamboo" will definitely benefit the world. Thanks to the knowledge and experience of China and INBAR, African countries have the opportunity to reduce plastic pollution through South-South cooperation and contribute to global sustainable development.

In fact, as a big country in the bamboo industry, China has been promoting the advanced technology and experience of the bamboo industry to the world in recent years, and doing its best to help developing countries use bamboo resources efficiently, so as to improve their response to climate change, environmental pollution, extreme poverty, etc. ability to problem.

Ecuador is rich in bamboo resources. In rural areas, bamboo attics and bridges can be seen everywhere. In 2018, Ecuador formulated the "2018-2022 Bamboo Strategy" to further cultivate and expand the bamboo industry, and more than 500,000 people have been directly or indirectly integrated into the relevant industrial chain. In order to strengthen relevant cooperation, China has specially organized 4 international training courses for Ecuador. The themes involved bamboo processing, sustainable development of the bamboo industry, and innovative utilization of bamboo resources in post-disaster reconstruction. A total of nearly 200 senior officials and technicians were trained.

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George Salpone from Ghana once participated in a training class held in Qingshen County, Meishan City, Sichuan Province, and learned techniques such as three-dimensional bamboo weaving, flat bamboo weaving, and bamboo furniture making. After returning to China, he also became an inheritor of bamboo and rattan products: "After I came to China, I realized that bamboo can produce so many products. Over the past few years, I have applied what I learned in China to practice and trained 200 Many craftsmen have their own businesses. I hope to pass on knowledge to more young people so that they can acquire life-making skills."

"The initiative of 'replacing plastic with bamboo', applying the whole bamboo products to industry, construction, transportation, etc., is an important and scientific measure for the construction of human ecological civilization in the future." Yin Weilun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that China is rich in bamboo. Bamboo resources, bamboo forest area, bamboo production and bamboo product foreign trade volume all rank first in the world. In the future, China will further leverage its advantages in bamboo resources and weave a low-carbon future together with the international community.

Although the sales volume of China's "replacing plastic with bamboo" products is growing rapidly, in daily life, plastic products still occupy an absolute advantage, and the market share and recognition of bamboo products are still obviously insufficient.

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Experts pointed out that high cost is the key factor causing this situation. Taking a 25-gram disposable lunch box as an example, the cost of bamboo lunch boxes is often higher due to the small output and scale, the lack of concentration of raw material harvesting and initial processing, and the low degree of automation of product processing equipment. In comparison, disposable plastic lunch boxes have the advantages of large-scale and high batch production. The cost of a lunch box is often 2 to 3 times lower than that of bamboo lunch boxes.

Fei Benhua, director of the International Bamboo and Rattan Center and president of the China Bamboo Industry Association, believes that my country's "replacing plastic with bamboo" is still in its infancy. The root of the problem that restricts the high cost of products is that the technology is not mature enough, and the government urgently needs to increase policies. and financial support. "Scientific research institutions and leading enterprises should be supported to play the main role of innovation, increase the research and development of common key technologies, improve product functions, stabilize performance, reduce costs, and increase market share."

Industry insiders suggest that since "replacing plastic with bamboo" has become a national action and a global initiative, the top-level design should be improved at the national level as soon as possible. For example, it is necessary to make a good plan for the development of the "replacing plastic with bamboo" industry, determine key industries and products, promote the establishment of innovative projects, support the research and development of equipment and equipment, increase scientific research and industrialization, etc.

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(Editors in charge: Ai Wen, Liu Yeting)

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