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Limits on plastic bags for a year
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Almost a year has passed since the Chinese government imposed limits on the use of plastic bags. The number of plastic bags used has been reduced by more than 80 percent during this past year. Environmental awareness has improved a lot since the restrictions came into effect.

Most people use their own bags when shopping in this supermarket. One reason, they are reluctant to pay for new plastic bags. The other reason, they have environmental concerns.

Zhang Jian, a shopper, said, "I seldom use the paid plastic bags provided by the supermarket except when I forget to bring my own. By doing this, our shopping behavior becomes environmental friendly."

Zhao Lan, also a shopper, said, "I think it's a good policy to limit the use of plastic bags. I prefer to take my cloth-made bags with me when shopping."

Great changes have taken place at this supermarket since last June.

Liu Fang, manager of Cuiwei Supermarket, said, "The number of bags offered by our supermarket has reduced more than half since June 1st, last year. An increasing number of people tend to use environmentally friendly bags."

Environmentalists say plastic bags can take up to one-thousand years to disintegrate and pose threats to marine life, birds and other animals.

According to official figures, China used to consume 37 million barrels of what is now very expensive crude oil each year to churn out the 3 billion plastic bags that its 1.3 billion people use on average each day.

(CCTV May 22, 2009)

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