Four Ministries Collaboratee on Action Plan for Garbage Clean-up

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Recently, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) jointly issued the “Action Plan for Cleaning Up Marine Debris in Coastal Cities” (hereinafter referred to as the “Action Plan”). This initiative launches a three-year dragnet-style marine debris cleanup operation in 65 bays adjacent to urban built-up areas in coastal cities across the country

According to the announcement from the MEE, the Action Plan is a concrete measure to implement the national ecological civilization thought and the spirit of the National Ecological and Environmental Protection Conference (NEEPC), as well as the deployment requirements of “fighting several beautiful landmark battles with higher standards”.

It is also a concrete action to implement the requirements of the newly revised “Marine Environmental Protection Law”, and to fulfil the statutory duties of departments and the main responsibilities of coastal places.

The Action Plan is of great significance in promoting the resolution of marine ecological and environmental problems around the people, and meeting the people’s needs for a beautiful marine ecological environment.

During the formulation of the Action Plan, the four ministries drew on the previous experience of marine garbage management in Fujian province and other places, as well as the results of special cleaning operations in 11 key bays such as Jiaozhou Bay, Shandong Province. They analysed the capabilities in various places, and decided to organize relevant coastal areas to launch comprehensive marine garbage cleaning activities in the bays adjacent to 65 urban built-up areas. It is worth noting that the policies for each bay are different, and are specially formulated according to local conditions.

The Action Plan defines a two-step goal: By 2025, the beach garbage in the 65 bays will be cleaned up in a timely and effective manner, and the density of floating garbage on the sea surface will be significantly reduced. By 2027, the density of floating garbage in the 65 bays will be greatly reduced and normalized to a clean level.

The Action Plan has established a set of coordinated full-process closed-loop measures, including: establishing a management system, blocking the source of garbage on land, cleaning up existing garbage at sea, timely cleaning up new garbage, standardizing local penalty standards, and regular supervision.

The Action Plan aims to achieve a coordinated guarantee of clear responsibilities, supervision and law enforcement, public participation, government supervision, and professional guidance.

The Action Plan clarifies the local responsibilities of governments at all levels in marine garbage management to strengthen shoreline inspections and daily supervision.

The plan widely mobilizes the public to participate in marine waste management and encourages associations and social organizations to carry out beach and sea cleanup activities.

According to the plan, the calculation and ranking methods of the Bay Cleanliness Index are also being studied and formulated.