China is working to develop "green packaging" as part of its efforts to build an environment-friendly society, Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said yesterday.
He made the remarks when referring to the vast growth of packaging waste in the world at the World Packaging Conference, which opened in Beijing yesterday.
"The large increase of packaging waste has become a worldwide problem that deserves great attention," Zeng said.
China's packaging industry attaches great importance to environmental protection and resource conservation, he added.
Zeng called for additional efforts to be made to promote green packaging by developing technologies of recycling waste or using degradable materials.
The packaging sector has witnessed robust growth in China. According to statistics from the China Packaging Federation, the total output of the nation's packaging industry reached US$50 billion last year, with a year-on-year growth of more than 20 per cent.
"A challenge for the Chinese packaging innovators is the creation of efficient packaging with the consumption of less energy and resources and less waste after use," Alexis Stassinopoulos, president of the World Packaging Organization, said at the conference.
The president said the increasing consumption of convenience foods creates a corresponding demand for packaging materials.
It is estimated that 25 billion pizza boxes were sold all over the world last year, Stassinopoulos said. "I should also mention packaging from McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken, which are becoming very popular in China.
"We must all work to create new packaging solutions, which save more and consume less," said Stassinopoulos.
In order to economize the gradually decreasing resources and protect the environment, the development of green packaging must be carried out without delay, said Shi Wanpeng, president of the China Packaging Federation.
More efforts are needed to perform related research and development in a bid to supply the market with better packaging products, which are non-poisonous, harmless and of a light weight, Shi said in a keynote speech.
"We should try to find more effective technology of waste recycling of packaging so as to realize the maximum resource-efficiency."
(China Daily 04/20/2006 page3)