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China bans plastic shopping bags

China has announced a ban on plastic shopping bag because of pollution and energy concerns.


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January 21, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

China has announced a ban on plastic shopping bag because of pollution and energy concerns.

According to China’s State Council, the ban will start June 1. Firms that continue to sell, make and distribute bags thicker than 0.025 mm thick will be given fines and authorities may seize goods and profits, the State Council said. All supermarkets, department stores and shops will be prohibited from giving out free plastic bags, the State Council said. Also, stores must clearly mark the price of plastic shopping bags and are banned from tacking that price onto products.

“Our country consumes huge amounts of plastic bags every year. While providing convenience to consumers, they have also caused serious pollution, and waste of energy and resources, because of excessive use and inadequate recycling,” the government said in a statement. “We should encourage people to return to carrying cloth bags, using baskets for their vegetables.”

The ban is initiated to coincide with major pollution culls taking place in Beijing in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games, primarily aimed dissipating smog and remodeling rundown neighborhoods.

In March 2007, San Francisco became the first North American city to ban non-recyclable plastic bags made from petroleum products. Later in April, the Manitoba town of Leaf Rapids became the first Canadian municipality to prohibit plastic sacks. Other regions in South Africa, Ireland and Taiwan have placed additional fees and taxes on the bags to discourage use.


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