We stand and applaud cities like San Francisco which have adopted a partial ban on plastic take-away bags.
Well, the 900-lb. gorilla has one-upped us all; China, from which country one normally gets all kinds of negative news on the environmental front, has declared war on plastics (from ENN.com):
The State Council, China’s cabinet, recently issued a directive banning the production of ultra-thin plastic bags for environmental reasons. The ruling also prohibits shops, supermarkets, and sales outlets nationwide from handing out free plastic bags starting on June 1, according to . The imposition of fees on plastic bag usage is likely to influence consumer behavior in China and bring environmental benefits in the coming years.
Free plastic bags were first introduced in the 1980s in Guangdong province, where China’s commercial sector first boomed as the nation embarked on economic reforms. The overwhelming convenience of the light and waterproof carriers led the bags to rapidly supplant the more cumbersome traditional woven baskets throughout the country. Since then, decades of free bag handouts have instilled in consumers a mentality of “better more than fewer” and encouraged a wanton use-and-discard habit.
People in China use up to 3 billion plastic bags daily and dispose of more than 3 million tons of the bags annually.