no more plastic bags

(Last Updated On: June 15, 2008)

No more plastic shopping bags in ChinaThat right, as of June 1, China has banned plastic shopping bags. Well, not banned. They’re still available, but now you have to pay for them.

From the CBC:

China’s State Council said the ban will start June 1. Firms that continue to sell, make and distribute bags thicker than 0.025 mm thick will be given fines and authorities may seize goods and profits, the State Council said.

“Our country consumes huge amounts of plastic bags every year. While providing convenience to consumers, they have also caused serious pollution, and waste of energy and resources, because of excessive use and inadequate recycling,” the government said in a statement, according to Reuters.

“We should encourage people to return to carrying cloth bags, using baskets for their vegetables.”

From my former province, from The Toronto Star:

Ontario won’t follow China’s move to reduce pollution by banning plastic shopping bags, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.

However, during a morning visit to Kitchener, the premier also said the Chinese plan is a reminder that the west should be “rethinking” its reliance on the bags.

I applaud the initiative. Every little bit helps. My problem is forgetting to bring bags with me to the store. In my rush to shop each morning, before the army of old women descend on the produce section like biblical locust, I often forget to grab the lovely bags Mrs. Stevo purchased for our use. I came home today with potatoes stuffed in my pockets.

Live and learn.

16 thoughts on “no more plastic bags

  1. I applaud China for this, too. I wish the U.S. would do this as well. I have a number of bags that I’ve purchased to use in place of the plastic ones. I have about a half a dozen in my car at any given time. Of course I still forget to bring them in with me but at least it’s only a matter of running to the car to get them. Sometimes I stick one or two in my purse. The ones that fold into ridiculously small sizes and have a clip on them are super! They fit in my purse and I can clip them near the top so I don’t have to dig for them.

    Find one of those and clip it to your belt! You’ll start remembering soon, I’m sure.

    Corinas last blog post..Random Thoughts About My Father

  2. I agree. I think everyone should adopt this policy now. The plastics inundating the ocean frighten me to think about. Was it Corina who wrote a post on cloth bags before? It’s a good idea. We have 3 cloth bags at home, eventually we’ll start to remember. Maybe I should put a picture of the great trash vortex in the ocean on my dash-board to remember.

    amuirins last blog post..Stuff & stuff

  3. If you buy the ones with a loop on one end or sew a loop in the ones you already have, they are also just as fast to fill.

    For every cloth bag used 3 or 4 plastic bags are kept out of the land fill.

    Shawn Ws last blog post..A New Baby

  4. Corina: I hope I start remembering. I fear the day I buy a lot and have to carry it home piece by piece.

    amuirin: That’s a good idea, I should do something similar.

    Shawn: Great idea. Maybe it will help improve my sewing skills.

    Stevos last blog post..no more plastic bags

  5. In Calcutta where I spent most of my childhood, we used jute bags. Plastic was thought so down market. It’s a lovely sight watching matronly Bengali women in their softly starched cotton sarees armed with their colourful jute bags floating serenely in the afternoon sunshine shopping away a storm!

    Average Janes last blog post..What my daughter wrote

  6. It is actually possible to make new bags (even really cute purses) out of your old bags. Also some excellent doormats.

    Stevo, you probably need a really lightweight bag, in nylon or something, that can be folded absurdly small and kept in a pocket or your briefcase. I’m very fond of bags, I buy them, I use them–just almost never for groceries. I find they make lovely souvenirs of places I’ve been. I didn’t manage to find one this holiday, but I got one from Capers, in Vancouver, last year.

  7. AJ: That sounds remarkable. I’d like to take taht photo. How can you write a comment that sounds like poetry?

    Wanda: Decorations?

    LFC: The bag pictured with this article folds down to the size of a large cell phone. Being that small, of course, I can never find it.

    Jackie: I’m always happy to see you.

  8. I always forget to bring mine in the grocery store. But I love when I ask for paper (as the responsible “green” consumer I am trying to become,) and they put the paper bag into a plastic one. Hellooooo….

    Jennifers last blog post..I bought a new camera

  9. I think it is a good idea to certainly reduce our use of plastic bags. However, I always reuse mine to bag up the contents of three cat’s worth of cat waste, so I always have to keep some around. I swear, the next cat I have I’ll train how to use the toilet.

    I’m getting better though at remember to bring my own bag – I’m batting about .500 these days.

    LazyBuddhists last blog post..Tagged! I’m it.

  10. LB: I’m the same. All our bags get used again and again. Good luck training the next cat. That would seem a difficult task although I know it has been done.

  11. Taiwan also follows this policy, and we think it’s a great idea. The bags for purchase here are huge and ultra-thick. We’ve never had one rip on us and we always have a few extra stuffed in the saddle-bags on the bike.

    China should definitely reduce the number of flimsy plastic bags lying useless in the gutter. Even better, stop using crappy disposable chopsticks! Why can’t people bring their own?

    Carries last blog post..Photo Essay: Strange Lunar Landscape in Yehliu, Taiwan

  12. Carrie: That’s a great idea, but would never work. Could you ask people in North America to take their own cutlery to a restaurant?

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