[Sanya, China] – Today the City of Sanya joined WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities Initiative, pledging to eliminate plastic pollution by 2030, and to fully align with WWF’s global No Plastic In Nature campaign. The City of Sanya joins 20 other Plastic Smart Cities that are now recognized as the world’s leading cities on plastic.
“WWF is excited to be working with the City of Sanya, a city that has taken a leading role as the first city in China to join the initiative and the global fight to rid our cities of a growing plastic waste burden. WWF and the Plastic Smart Cities community stand together with Sanya to ensure that the ambitious goal for a plastic pollution free city is achieved by 2030. We welcome the city's leadership in China and hope for more examples to follow,” said WWF Global Cities Lead, Vincent Kneefel.
Today an estimated 60% of plastic marine debris derives from urban centers, as polluted waterways carry plastic pollution to the ocean. While cities will rapidly increase their population densities to account for two-thirds of the global population by 2050, cities like Sanya must continue to adopt smart solutions that reduce the collective impact of their prospering community. On plastic, this means preventing, minimizing and managing plastic, both as a resource, and as a threat to the city's health and sustainable future. And today, Sanya has taken an important step in securing a sustainable future for its residents.
Chen Xiao, Deputy Secretary-General of the Sanya Municipal People's Government made a public announcement in a recently published video, stating “As a zero-waste city pilot in China, Sanya will join forces with all sectors of the society to take actions in order to reduce plastic pollution and build our beautiful home. Here, the Sanya Municipal People's Government commits to join the WWF Plastic Smart City network, to gather global knowledge, and to share and promote valuable experiences of becoming a Plastic Smart City.”
In response, WWF China’s CEO, Sze Ping Lo reiterated the importance of Sanya’s announcement, stating “WWF advocates for solving the problem from its origin, and the establishment of “Plastic Smart Cities” is our critical step to solve marine plastic pollution issues. The City of Sanya is joining our global initiative to become the first Plastic Smart City in China. In the coming two years, WWF will collaborate with the Sanya Government to manage wastes from land and sea, conduct public campaigns, build capacities, and promote international dialogues, contributing to sustainability of cities nationally and globally.”
The amount of plastic entering the ocean is projected to grow four-fold by 2050. Transformative changes, including moving away from single-use towards re-useable packaging, are needed to save our oceans, say Vincent Kneefel and John Duncan.