City gets serious about waste
If you live in Shanghai, you might have to take a "lesson" in sorting garbage, as the city recently introduced new garbage-sorting regulations.
It's now required that people should sort garbage into four categories, namely recyclable, harmful, dry and wet waste. However, if people fail to sort their garbage properly, they can be fined up to 200 yuan.
More cities are introducing similar regulations, following the practice in Shanghai. By the end of 2020, garbage-sorting systems will have been built in 46 major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shenzhen, reported People's Daily.
According to a study by the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy, under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, over 90 percent of the public believe that garbage sorting is important for the protection of the environment.
However, garbage sorting is still a big problem in China. Only 30 percent of participants said they think they are adequately sorting their trash, the study noted.
According to Xinhua News Agency, it's partly because many people lack the willingness to sort their own waste. In the past, some previous garbage regulations didn't give clear fines for people who failed to sort garbage.
"It's a must to have a legal guarantee to promote garbage sorting," Liu Jianguo, a professor from Tsinghua University, told China Daily.
Liu Xinyu, a researcher of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily that the importance of the new regulations in Shanghai is to change the past voluntary action into compulsory action for everyone.
Aside from China, many other foreign countries have also introduced garbage-sorting regulations. In Japan, waste sorting has become a basic survival skill, reported Xinhua. There is a fixed time for disposal of each kind of garbage and littering can result in high fines and even jail time.
In Germany too, people are asked to sort waste into specific categories, reported HuffPost. For example, in Berlin, people have yellow bins for plastic and metals and blue bins for paper and cardboard.