Now, with the intensification of climate change, frequent occurrence of natural disasters and increasing environmental problems, more and more countries and international organizations are integrating green development, principles from the circular economy and low-carbon lifestyles into their national strategies and global vision. China has set a dual carbon goal of striving to achieve peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060, aimed at making positive contributions to address climate change and create harmony between man and nature. During the General Debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative, an international plan that adheres to the concept of harmonious co-existence between humankind and nature, targeting climate change and green economic development as key areas for cooperation. The initiative has received positive responses from the international community.

Bamboo is a precious treasure bestowed upon humankind by nature, has significant ecological, economic and social benefits. As a green, low-carbon, fast-growing, renewable and degradable biomass material, bamboo can play a unique role in addressing a number of global challenges such as climate change, poverty alleviation and ecological restoration. China and the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization are jointly launching the “Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic” Initiative, aimed at deepening cooperation of the Global Development Initiative by realizing the outstanding advantages and potential of bamboo in reducing plastic pollution, replacing plastic products and providing a nature-based solution for energy-intensive and difficult-to-degrade plastic products, while making a positive contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

1. Formulate supportive policies

Incorporate the “Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic” Initiative into policy frameworks at different levels, including international, regional and national levels; cooperate with relevant international organizations to facilitate formulation of international trade rules for inclusion of bamboo plastic substitute products into plastics replacements; support and help countries around the world formulate and popularize policies regarding the initiative; identify important industries and bamboo products to replace plastics; and provide policy guarantees for global development.   

2. Promote technological innovation

Converge scientific and technological forces in the bamboo sector to deepen cooperation and foster innovation in the uses, efficiency and standardized development of bamboo products to replace plastics as well as generate the conditions for the adoption of new technologies and development of new products that can use “bamboo as a substitute for plastic”.

3. Encourage scientific research

Encourage global research institutions to strengthen basic research into using “bamboo as a substitute for plastic” to promote scientific innovation in global bamboo utilization as well as build a scientific knowledge system such as material data and full life cycle databases that will establish the scientific theory and foundation of data for mitigating global plastic pollution and devising a global development policy framework.

4. Promote market expansion

Facilitate the entry of bamboo products into the market and promote consumption through expert forums, exhibitions, demonstrations and public events at international, regional and national levels. Widely publicize the diverse applications of bamboo in construction, decoration, furniture, papermaking, packaging, transportation, food, textiles, chemicals, handicrafts and disposable products. The promotion of bamboo products capable of replacing plastics with great market potential and good economic benefits will be prioritized.

5. Enhance publicity

Comprehensively promote the significant potential and value of bamboo as a nature-based solution and raise public awareness through participating in international fora such as the United Nations General Assembly, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Forestry Congress, celebrating important international and national themed days and anniversaries such as World Earth Day, World Environment Day, and promoting activities on media platforms.