Thursday, January 10, 2008

China Restricting Plastic Bag Use

One of the simple ways we can reduce waste, reduce oil consumption and help the environment is to forgo the plastic bags we get stores. I try to take my clothe bags to the super market whenever I remember. When I just pick one or two items, I will carry them out without the bag. Checkout clerks just put things in the plastic bags instinctively. Its a bit of a shock to them when I refuse a plastic bag. Its like I’m the only one who does this.

However, I am no longer alone in my in trying to reduce waste from plastic bags. I now have China behind me. National Geographic is reporting that “China is banning free plastic shopping bags and calling for a return to the cloth bags of old.” The Chinese seem to be taking the plastic bag restrictions in stride with many realizing it’s a good thing. Click here for the complete article

Some other insights from the article are:

  • San Francisco last year became the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags
  • The United States throws out one hundred billion plastic bags per year!
  • Other countries have restrictions including South Africa, Ireland, Taiwan and Bangladesh

One other note I would like to add is Sam Club does not provide plastic bags or bags of any kind at their stores. They do keep used cardboard boxes from goods shipped to their stores at their checkouts for customers to use. I also know that Ikea is charging their customers a nickel per plastic bag in an effort to get their customers to use reusable bags. (click here). It think both of these stores should be given credit for not fostering plastic bags.

I hope you too will follow China’s lead and reduce your use of plastic bags.

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