Producer 1990 Institute 
Overview The opening of China after the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976 brought rapid economic growth and increased wealth and purchasing power to its people. The rise in consumption over the years has its impact on the environment. Trash, especially plastic waste, is a common problem in Chinese cities as well as other cities around the world. Chinese urban millennials are becoming more aware of the litter on their city streets and the connection between consumption and the environment. This Reference Library page provides you with more information about plogging (combining jogging with picking up litter), plastic waste and what the Chinese government is doing about it, and the impact of China’s decision on banning recycled plastic imports.

Video Time Codes:

0:00 Intro to Plogging

0:25 Ming and the Trash Running Group

1:23 Summer and Her Changing View on Trash and Environment

2:42 Ming Leading the Trash Running Group

3:26 Ming’s View on Environment

Publish Date March 18, 2022
Reference Materials Read: 

China’s informal army of recyclers keep plastic bottles out of landfill, by Benjamin Haas, June 28, 2017, The Guardian

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Plastic (and Recycling), by Lilly Sedaghat, April 4, 2018, National Geographic Society Newsroom, National Geographic

China’s ban on trash imports shifts waste crisis to Southeast Asia, by Laura Parker, November 16, 2018, National Geographic

What’s that hairy crab doing in your recycling? Shanghai residents struggle with new trash rules, by Anna Fifield, July 28, 2019, Washington Post (Paywall)

A move by China puts U.S. small-town recycling programs in the dumps, by Rececca Beitsch, January 21, 2019, Washington Post (Paywall)

China to ramp up recycling, incineration in new plastic pollution push, by Reuters, September 14, 2021, Reuters

China’s radical new rules to recycle rubbish, by Han Huang, November 25, 2019, South China Morning Post

51+ Disturbing Plastic Waste Statistics (2022), October 31, 2021, by Seed Scientific

China’s plastic waste mountain the biggest in the world: study,  by Cheryl Heng, May 23, 2021, South China Morning Post

  • The country generates the most plastic waste overall but per capita consumption is a fraction of that in Australia and US
  • China generated about 18kg (40lbs) of plastic waste per person during the year but that was still only a third of the average 59kg each Australian threw away. The United States was second on the list at 53kg per person and South Korea third at 44kg.

Recycling rates of plastic products in China from 2017 to 2020, by Ian Tiseo, October 11, 2021, Statista (Paywall after initial access)

Plastic waste in the United States – Statistics and Facts, by Ian Tiseo, November 21, 2021, Statista (Paywall after initial access)

Four key ideas to building a circular economy for plastics, by Christina Nunez, September 30, 2021, National Geographic

China’s Circular Economy: Understanding the New Five Year Plan, by Alexander Chipman Koty, July 16, 2021, China Briefing, Dezan Shira & Associates


What is Plugging? Growing Movement of Joggers Picking Up Trash, NBC Nightly News, March 24, 2019

Chinese public service announcement rap music video (in Chinese)  about sorting trash (minute 0:34 to 0:54) to reduce environmental impact, March 8, 2017,

Plogging (in China), by Kyle Obermann for The China Current, Oct 27, 2021

China’s war on plastic waste, Januart 27, 2021, by China Global Television Network (CGTN is funded by the Chinese Government)

How China Broke the World’s Recycling, December 16, 2020, by Wendover Productions (Warning, this video has advertisement at the end but the video examines the plastic industry as whole and points out the fundamental problems of using it)

The vision for a circular economy for plastic, October 14, 2020, by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.