China Bans “Free” Plastic Bags
I like this story:
China is banning free plastic bags common at shops and supermarkets and ordering customers to be charged for any they use, the government said Wednesday.
Shops have been instructed to mark the price of the plastic bags clearly and not fold them into the cost of other items.
Environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, praised China’s move, and Christopher Flavin, president of Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization in Washington, said “China is ahead of the U.S. with this policy,” AP reported.
The Chinese use up to 3 billion plastic shopping bags a day.
Often, the flimsy bags are used once and discarded, adding to waste in a country grappling with air and water pollution as a result of rapid economic transformation, officials said.
“Our country consumes a large amount of plastic bags. While convenient for consumers, the bags also lead to a severe waste of resources and environmental pollution because of their excessive use and low rate of recycling,” the statement at the Web site Gov.cn said. “The ultra-thin bags are the main source of ‘white’ pollution as they can easily get broken and end up as litter.”
I think it’s time for the US to do the same. Not only are they not environmentally friendly, plastic bags are made from petroleum, contributing to the rising energy costs (fractionally).