Home / Environment / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Ban on ultra-thin plastic bags draws mixed reaction
Adjust font size:

China is banning the use of ultra-thin plastic bags, or those thinner than 0.025 millimeters, from Sunday in a bid to reduce energy consumption and polluting emissions. However, Chinese shoppers may need a while to adjust to the new rule.

"It is a 'habit revolution,'" an official with the Ministry of Commerce, Men Xiaowei, said in an on-line interview. "It will no doubt bring some inconveniences. However, to limit the use of plastic bags is to protect our entire environment."

In addition to banning ultra-thin plastic bags, retailers will no longer provide free plastic bags. Customers are being encouraged to carry their own baskets or bags.

"The plastic waste accounted for more than 3 to 5 percent of the daily waste, most of which was plastic bags," Men said.

China's retailers, including supermarkets, department stores and grocery stores, use more than 1.6 million tons of plastic each year. About one ton of plastic can be derived from more than three tons of oil.

Although bags were said to be degradable, "only a small portion of plastic bags could be thoroughly degraded," said Li Jing, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner. "These bags are usually more expensive."

In consideration of food safety and sanitation, bags which are used to pack food, such as raw meat and noodles, are still free.

Men also said retailers were not likely to make money by selling plastic bags. "On the contrary, they worried about losing customers by charging too much for one bag."

To date, giant retailers such as Wal-Mart have not decided how much they would charge for the bags.

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name

China Archives
Related >>
- Supermarkets set plastic bag prices
- Design contest for cloth bags launched
- Final version of bag regulation released
- Plastic bags to cost 0.1-0.5 yuan at supermarkets
- Bioplastics may not be as 'sustainable' as claimed
- Hand-made environment-friendly cloth bags
- Environmentally-friendly shopping bags popular
Most Viewed >>
- Soldiers work non-stop to drain 'quake lake'
- Mixed feelings with end of free plastic shopping bags
- Quake damage to the Wolong Nature Reserve
- 102 pandas in Gansu reserve safe: official
- Emergency race to drain quake lake
Air Quality 
Cities Major Pollutant Air Quality Level
Beijing particulate matter II
Shanghai particulate matter II
Guangzhou particulate matter II
Chongqing particulate matter II
Xi'an particulate matter III1
NGO Events Calendar Tips
- Hand in hand to protect endangered animals and plants
- Changchun, Mini-marathon Aimed at Protecting Siberian Tiger
- Water Walk by Nature University
- Green Earth Documentary Salon
- Prof. Maria E. Fernandez to Give a Lecture on Climate Change
UN meets on climate change
The UN Climate Change Conference brought together representatives of over 180 countries and observers from various organizations.
Panda Facts
A record 28 panda cubs born via artificial insemination have survived in 2006.
South China Karst
Rich and unique karst landforms located in south China display exceptional natural beauty.
Saving the Tibetan Antelopes
The rare animals survive in the harsh natural environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
Laws & Regulations
- Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China
- Meteorology Law of the People's Republic of China
- Fire Control Law of the People's Republic of China
- Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters
- Law of the People's Republic of China on Conserving Energy
State Environmental Protection Administration
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Land and Resources
China Environmental Industry Network
Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base