The country is one of the world’s biggest users of plastic, and the plan targets a 30 percent reduction in disposable plastic utensils used by the takeaway food industry in major cities within five years.
In a document released Sunday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said the production and sale of disposable polystyrene and plastic tableware will be banned by the end of the year.
The plan also outlaws single-use straws in the food and beverage industry this year, while disposable plastic products should not be “actively provided” by hotels by 2022.
Decades of rapid development and a consumption drive have created huge levels of waste in the country of 1.4 billion people.
China produced 210 million tons of trash in 2017, according to World Bank figures, which warns that could soar to 500 million tonnes annually by 2030.
Ma Jun, director of Chinese environmental group Institute of Public and Environment Affairs, told AFP the latest measures come more than a decade after China banned shops from giving out free plastic bags in 2008.
But e-commerce and deliveries have boomed since then, changing consumer behavior and causing plastic use to spike, he said.
The NDRC said the new plan covers all aspects of plastic product production, use and disposal, and paves the way for a “long-term mechanism to control plastic pollution“.