In a surprise move, the Chinese government announced today that it will be be banning the manufacture and distribution of thin plastic bags, and ending the free distribution of other plastic bags, beginning this summer. Guo Shipeng and Emma Graham-Harrison of Reuters write that the Chinese government announced that plastic bags were not being recycled in adequate numbers and were wasting resources, as well as burdening the environment. The Chinese government announced in a statement that:
"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...We should encourage people to return to carrying cloth bags, (and) using baskets for their vegetables."
According to one report, China disposes of 3 billion plastic bags a day.
CAW and Plastic Bags:
- Learn about CAW's efforts to reduce the disposal of plastic bags, and about an effort underway in LA County to require retailers to meet plastic bag disposal reduction benchmarks or face a mandatory ban.