Printer Friendly

China reports 66-percent drop in plastic bag use.

A strict limit on ultra-thin plastic bags helped China avoid the use of some 40 billion bags over a one-year period, according to government estimates.

Plastic bags are commonly found in waterways, on beaches, and in other unofficial dumping sites across China. Litter caused by the notorious bags has been referred to as "white pollution."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The State Council, China's parliament, responded in January 2008 by prohibiting shops, supermarkets, and sales outlets from providing free plastic bags that are less than 0.025 millimeters thick.

In its first review of the ban, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced in June that supermarkets reduced plastic bag usage by 66 percent over the previous year. The limit in bag production saved China 1.6 million tons of petroleum, the NDRC estimated.

Prior to the ban, an estimated 3 billion plastic bags were used daily across China, creating more than 3 million tons of garbage each year. China consumed an estimated 37 million barrels of crude oil annually to produce plastics for packaging.

Yet compliance with the ban appears inconsistent. A survey by Beijing-based Global Village found that more than 80 percent of stores in rural China continued to provide free plastic bags.

by Ben Block

(unless otherwise credited)

COPYRIGHT 2009 Worldwatch Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:EYE ON EARTH
Author:Block, Ben
Publication:World Watch
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:209
Previous Article:Global bird species in serious decline.
Next Article:Updates.
Topics:


Related Articles
Paper or plastic?
Bag it.
Paper or plastic: the best answer may be "neither".
Ireland gets even greener.
Plastic bags sacked.
China's bag ban likely to change consumer habits.
Curing a 3 billion bag habit: June 3, 2008.
Use of plastic bags: factors affecting ecologically oriented behavior in consumers.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters