China to Further Lower Coating Industry VOC Emission Threshold

In July, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released a notification on VOC Reduction Action Plan in Key Industries, outlining its radical VOC emission reduction plan and air quality improvement plan. The Action Plan will impact the coating industry and further push the industry to lower the VOC emissions associated with coating products. According to the Action Plan, by the end of 2018, the total industrial VOC emission should be reduced by 3.3 million tons compared with 2015. The production of non-VOC (or low-VOC, which means the VOC concentration is lower than 30%) coating products should reach at least 60% of the total production. Instead of an administrative order, the Action Plan really amounts to little more than government guidance. It still probably lacks a strong enough legal basis to effectively regulate the industry. The good news is that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is the co-promulgator with MIIT and will give financial support to substitute products, including water based coatings, powder coatings, high solid coatings, non-solvent coatings, etc. Water based coating is the most promising sector of this bunch of environmentally friendly substitute products. However, water based coating is not a complete solution. It still poses significant environmental risks. Authorities will have to effectively supervise and regulate water based coating waste production while incentivizing growth within the industry in order to ensure it fostering growth in a new sector of the coatings industry that is less harmful to the environment than the one it is replacing.

Chemlinked, 5 August 2016 ; ;