Pollution fears as ban on plastic foam items lifted

The end of a 14-year ban on the sale and use of disposable food containers made of plastic foam has sparked concerns over pollution and potential health risks.

The time was right for the ban to end, the National Development and Reform Commission said, as plastic foam could now be recycled to become raw materials in construction, paints and stationery.

A decision to ban plastic foam dinnerware was imposed in 1999 over environmental pollution concerns.

However, the lifting of the ban on Wednesday has not met with universal approval.

Dong Jinshi, deputy general secretary of the Beijing Society for Environmental Sciences, said a recycling system had not yet been established and it was more dangerous to use such products today as many companies were using waste plastic to make dinnerware.

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