China Bans Plastic Bags

Here in the UK we are getting used to supermarket chains saying they are going to do something about all those free plastic bags they give away. Some have run ‘tests’ some have tried recycling schemes but generally it appears to have been more for ‘green’ publicity. Step in China.

The entire country is to ban free plastic bags from June this year!! Not just a small supermarket chain in a small European country – but the whole of China!

They have a real pollution problem generally but in this case with their “White Pollution” which gets its name from the colour of the flimsy white plastic bags they give away to consumers. China’s State Council commented, "While plastic shopping bags provide convenience to consumers, this has caused a serious waste of energy and resources and environmental pollution because of excessive usage, inadequate recycling and other reasons."

From June 1st all supermarkets, department stores and shops are banned from giving away free bags. They must charge for them and clearly show the price. They are also prohibited from adding the cost to the price of goods they sell.

[Via International Herald Tribune]