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EVERYTHING You Need To Know About Shanghai’s New Trash Sorting Law 关于上海市新垃圾分类条例,你所需要知道的一切


Shanghai’s domestic waste management law (DWML) will take effect on July 1.

Let’s take a deep dive with us to understand where DWML comes from, its specific stipulations, and its future implications.

《上海市生活垃圾管理条例》将于7月1日起施行。让我们深入了解一下它的来源、具体规定以及对未来的意义。


What is the new law?

关于新条例

The new law is titled “Domestic Waste Management Law (生活垃圾管理条例) (Read more about the provisions of this law in 3).” Primarily, it focuses on several key areas concerning domestic waste: reducing generation, enforcing sorting, and turning waste into resources.

新条例的名称是《生活垃圾管理条例》(更多信息请参考文末网站3)。它主要集中在几个与生活垃圾有关的关键领域:减少垃圾的产生、加强分类和将垃圾转化为资源。

With respect to reducing generation, it stipulates encouraging businesses to adopt green product designs, and government agencies and public institutions to prioritize green products in their procurement. In particular, a number of industries are subject to DWML. Courier services are asked to give preference to green packaging through tweaking their pricing strategy, and offering options for reusable packaging; food delivery businesses and restaurants cannot provide disposable utensils without customers requesting them; hotels cannot provide disposable toiletries without guests requesting them; wet markets are given preference over supermarkets where produce is wrapped in plastic packaging.

在减少垃圾产生方面,它鼓励企业采用绿色产品设计,政府机构和公共机构在采购时优先考虑绿色产品。特别是,许多行业都受新条例的约束。要求快递公司通过调整价格策略,优先选择绿色包装,提供可重复使用的包装选项; 送餐企业和餐厅不能在没有顾客要求的情况下提供一次性餐具; 酒店不能主动提供一次性洗漱用品;相比注重包装的超市,菜市场会更受推崇。


(Waimai and Kuaidi packaging skyrocketing in recent years)

外卖和快递包装近年来飞速发展

With respect to sorting, there are going to be 4 main types of waste (for a practical guide on sorting, read 4 in English, read 8 in Chinese): household food waste, recyclable waste, hazardous waste, and residual waste. This process is managed by the local residence management company (物业), overseen by the neighborhood office (街道). There are also stipulations regarding construction waste and large recyclable waste.

关于垃圾分类,主要分为四大类(要了解分类的实用指南,英文版请参考文末网站4,中文版请参考文末网站8): 干垃圾,湿垃圾,可回收物,有害垃圾。垃圾分类由小区物业管理,街道监督。对于建筑垃圾和大型可回收垃圾也有专门的规定。

With respect to turning waste into resources, DWML sets ambitious goals: by the end of 2019, Shanghai should be processing 5520 tons of food waste into compost, and putting 3300 tons of recyclable waste into the economy every day.

在将废物转化为资源方面,《生活垃圾管理条例》设定了雄心勃勃的目标: 到2019年底,上海将把5520吨食物垃圾处理成堆肥,每天将3300吨可回收物投入经济利用。


(Composting turns food waste into rich soil)

堆肥把食物残余变成肥沃的土壤

Why is DWML a big deal?

为什么《生活垃圾管理条例》很重要?

First, it is part of a nationwide move to tackle environmental problems. The government has made the environment one of its priorities in recent years, as seen in the 13th Five-Year Plan issued in 2015. Waste management is indisputably vital to this effort as our cities are increasingly being plagued by ever-expanding landfills. In 2018, China banned the importation of a broad range of foreign waste, not only to avoid the pollution caused by the processing of the waste, but also to free up the capacity to process more domestic recyclable waste. Earlier in 2019, the government launched a “Zero-Waste Cities” pilot program in 10 cities (of which SH is one), in order to research for a nationwide roadmap to better waste management and urban planning practices (Read more about this program in 1). Furthermore, the central government conducts a quarterly evaluation in the 46 cities with a formal waste sorting program, whose scores get released to the public to promote inter-city competition. Shanghai’s DWML was born under such a backdrop.

首先,这是解决环境问题的全国行动的一部分。近年来,政府将环境作为其首要任务之一,正如2015年发布的“十三五”规划所示。垃圾管理对这项工作无疑是至关重要的,因为我们的城市正日益受到不断扩大的垃圾填埋场的困扰。2018年,中国禁止进口大量外国垃圾,不仅是为了避免处理垃圾所造成的污染,同时也解放了处理更多国内可回收垃圾的能力。2019年初,政府在10个城市(上海是其中之一)启动了“零垃圾城市”试点项目,以研究在全国范围内更好地进行垃圾管理和城市规划实践的路线图(关于次项目请参考文末网站1)。此外,中央政府对46个城市进行了季度评估,并制定了正式的垃圾分类计划,评估分数会公布给公众,以促进城市间的竞争。《上海市生活垃圾管理条例》就是在这样的背景下诞生的。

Second, trash is becoming an imminent threat to the city. Shanghai generated 7.9 million tons of waste in 2016 (Read more about China’s changing waste management strategy in 2). Of these 7.9 million tons, 3 million tons went directly to landfill. It was getting harder to handle the increasing amounts of trash with landfills. As a result, the government closed four landfills, and replaced them with incinerators. DWML, if successful, will allow 30% (in the inaugural year) of the waste to be converted into useful resources in the form of compost and recyclables, while lessening the workload of the incinerators.

其次,垃圾正成为城市的一个迫在眉睫的威胁。2016年,上海产生了790万吨垃圾(通过文末网站2可阅读更多关于中国不断变化的废物管理策略)。在这790万吨垃圾中,有300万吨直接进入了垃圾填埋场。垃圾填埋场的垃圾数量越来越多,处理起来也越来越难。因此,政府关闭了四个填埋区,代之以焚化炉。《生活垃圾管理条例》如果执行成功,将允许30%的废物(在首年)以堆肥和可循环再造的形式转化为有用的资源,同时减少焚化炉的工作量。

Third, this legislation looks to tackle issues seriously, with mechanisms that are proven to be effective. DWML establishes a system of sorting, collecting, transporting, and processing, where each party’s responsibility is clearly defined and cost of violation spelled out. It also stipulates the creation of monitoring and supervision mechanisms, the inspection results from which will be a key performance indicator for local officials. Furthermore, individuals can be fined up to 200RMB for not sorting or disposing of waste according to DWML, and this fine will be up to 50,000RMB for companies and institutions.

第三,这项立法着眼于严肃地处理问题,其机制已被证明是有效的。《生活垃圾管理条例》建立了一个分类、收集、传输和处理的系统,在这个系统中,每一方的责任都得到了明确的定义,违规的成本也得到了明确的说明。它还规定建立监测和监督机制,检查结果将成为地方官员的一项关键业绩指标。此外,如果个人不按照《条例》分类或处理垃圾,最高可被罚款200元,对公司、事业单位处以最高5万元的罚款。


(Hotels can be fined for providing disposable toiletries without guests requesting them)

如果酒店在客人没有要求的情况下提供一次性洗漱用品,可能会被罚款

Fourth, the city government allocated a lot of resources to public awareness campaigns around DWML (it handed out more than 8 million brochures). We think this could catalyze people to be more informed about not only their waste generation, but also consumption habits. This type of education is particularly valuable for children, as they will go on to inherit our world and be faced with even tougher environmental challenges.

第四,市政府为围绕《条例》开展的公众意识宣传活动分配了大量资源(发放了800多万册宣传册)。我们认为,这不仅能促使人们更加了解废物的产生,也更能了解自己的消费习惯。这种教育对孩子们尤其有价值,因为他们将继承我们的世界,并面临更严峻的环境挑战。

What challenges does DWML face?

《生活垃圾管理条例》面临哪些挑战?

As encouraging as it is, DWML leaves some things to be desired when it comes to its “teeth.” It has items as the following:

在令人鼓舞的同时,《生活垃圾管理条例》也留下了一些需要改进的地方。当以下这些条例需要落到实处的时候:

Chapter 3, Item 17, “businesses should prioritize materials and designs that are easy to recycle, easy to disassemble, easy to decompose, and free from toxins.”

第三章,第17条, “ 企业应该优先考虑易于回收的材料和设计,易拆解、易分解、无毒。”

Chapter 3, Item 18, “businesses should adopt packaging whose material, structure, and cost are appropriate for the content of the packaging, in order to reduce packaging waste.”

第三章,第18条,“企业应采用材料、结构和成本与包装内容相适应的包装,以减少包装浪费。”

Chapter 3, Item 19, “courier companies operating in the city should use electronic documentation, environmentally-friendly boxes and tape, and encourage senders to use decomposable and reusable packaging.”

第三章,第19条,“在城市运营的快递公司应该使用电子文档、环保盒子和胶带,并鼓励寄件人使用可分解和可重复使用的包装。”

Chapter 3, Item 21, “government agencies and public institutions should set the example by using products good for the environment, increasing the use of recycled paper, reducing disposable stationary, and banning the use of disposable cups internally. Government should prioritize reusable products in its procurement. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to reduce their consumption of and reuse stationary, and to reduce the use of disposable cups.”

第三章,第21条,“政府机构和公共机构应该以身作则,使用对环境有益的产品,增加再生纸的使用,减少一次性文具,禁止在内部使用一次性杯子。政府在采购时应优先考虑可重复使用的产品。鼓励企业和组织减少文具的消耗,增加再利用,减少一次性杯子的使用。”

We find the above items quite ambiguous in their goals as well as intended application. In fact, they simply set forth a direction in which public policy is headed. You manage what you measure. How will the government define success in the above areas? Are they going to keep the public updated on the progress? What administrative and legislative measures is the government going to take to accomplish such goals? We surely hope that the government will dissect them into more concrete and manageable goals soon and start making progress.

我们发现上面这些条例在它们的目标和预期的应用中相当模糊。事实上,它们只是为公共政策指明了方向。没有具体的标准。政府将如何定义上述领域的成功? 他们会让公众了解最新进展吗? 政府将采取哪些行政和立法措施来实现这些目标? 我们当然希望政府能尽快将这些目标分解成更具体、更易于管理的目标,并开始取得进展。

Another challenge is with the future of the recycling system. The existing informal recycling system relies heavily on private collectors, private sorting facilities and private processing facilities to put thousands of tons of waste back into the economy every day. This system was born out of economic reasons as there was no formal recycling system by the government. And it is surprisingly efficient. In one study by Core Responsibility, paper and cardboard took only 3-5 days to go from waste bin to inventory (read more in 6). Additionally, it is estimated that tens of thousands of people work in this sector in Shanghai, as collectors, sorters and workers at processing facilities. They have invaluable experience and expertise in recycling and they collaborate in a complex network. The government’s formal system faces the challenge to match the efficiency of the informal system, or the streets may become dumping grounds. Last but not least, the government is faced with the issue of whether or not to incorporate these individuals into the formal system, and in what capacity (read about the informal recycling system in 7 and 5).

另一个挑战是未来的回收系统。现有的非正式回收系统严重依赖私人回收、私人分拣设施和私人处理设施,每天将数千吨废物重新投入经济。由于政府没有形成正式的回收系统,这一系统的诞生是出于经济原因。它的效率高得惊人。在主要职责的一项研究中,纸和纸板从垃圾桶到库存只花了3-5天的时间。(更多信息请见文末网站6)此外,据估计,上海有数万人从事这一行业,如收集、分拣和加工设施的工人。他们在回收方面有宝贵的经验和专业知识,他们在一个复杂的网络中合作。政府的正式制度面临着与非正式制度效率匹配的挑战,否则街道可能成为垃圾场。最后同样重要的是,政府面临的问题是是否要将这些个人纳入正式系统,以及以何种身份纳入正式系统(关于非正式回收系统的内容,请阅读网站7和网站5)。


(Informal recyclers on their tricycle, photo credit: Core Responsibility)

骑着三轮车的非正式回收者,图片版权:Core Responsibility(主要职责)

Another challenge is whether the government will be able to keep the momentum over the long term. DWML, in a way, aims to engineer a massive societal behavior change. This is no small undertaking, as deep-rooted habits take a lot to be modified. Our first concern is over the enforcement of the fines. It remains unclear how the responsible departments will be able to have the man power to administer such a fine. We may learn a lot about this in the first weeks of DWML taking effect. Even if the departments work out a practical program, we are not sure fines alone are enough to change people’s behavior in such a drastic manner. Will the government come up with more positive incentives in the future? It will be interesting to see.

另一个挑战是政府能否长期保持这种势头。《生活垃圾管理条例》在某种程度上,目标是策划一场大规模的社会行为变革。这不是一件小事,因为根深蒂固的习惯需要花很大的力气去改变。我们首先关注的是罚款的执行情况。目前尚不清楚相关部门将如何拥有人力去管理这样的罚款。在《条例》生效后的最初几周,我们将会知道的更多。即使各部门制定出一个切实可行的计划,我们也不确定单凭罚款这种激烈的方式是否足以改变人们的行为。政府是否会在未来提出更积极的激励措施?让我们拭目以待。

What are your views on the new law? How is it being implemented at your compound? Share in the comments below.

你对新条例有什么看法?在你们小区是如何实行的?欢迎你在评论与我们分享。

1: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-waste-idUSKCN1PI027

2: https://www.coresponsibility.com/shanghai-landfills-closures/

3: https://baike.baidu.com/item/上海市生活垃圾管理条例/23289169?fr=aladdin

4: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/qmgbVdLG-CopuSBUacN-Nw

5 : https://www.huffpost.com/entry/shanghai-informal-recyclers_n_5a537b92e4b0efe47ebadf88

6: http://www.coresponsibility.com/recycled-waste-in-shanghai-where-it-goes/

7: http://www.coresponsibility.com/report/informal-waste/

8: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/ET554EaVce7VNK4EsZ5lMA


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