CHINA WATCH China is to ban free plastic bags in shops from June 1st 2008, which is already all over the news.
In a notice posted on the central government’s Web site (www.gov.cn), the General Office of the State Council launched a crackdown on the production, sale and use of ultra-thin bags (defined as less than 0.025 mm thick) as of June 1. Further, supermarkets and shops will be banned from giving free plastic bags to customers as of that date.
As many as 3bn plastic bags are used in China each day, putting intolerable pressure on the country’s valuable resources and helping to ruin the environment, the council said.
Media around the world have applauded the plan, while also doubting whether this green rule can be fully implemented. (You may want to know Times’ thought on this.)
Admittedly, the implementation of the eco regulation depends on the government’s determination and enforcement, but also relies on the public awareness of environment protection.
Who use plastic bags more frequently than housewives? Here are some Chinese housewives talking about how they think of this green move.
Liang Guiling, a housewife who was born in the 1960s, began to use plastic bags in her 20s: “ I think it will bring some inconvenience in a short time, but soon I will get used to using my old basket and cloth bags. Young people think they can’t live without plastic bags, but people in my time used baskets to carry eggs and fruit and other goods and they live just fine. And I hate to see plastic bags floating around”
Seems the 60s are missing their shopping baskets. What about those young housewives growing up in the “plastic age”.
Hu Yiting, a friend of mine was born in the 1980s when plastic bags become common in China.
She said: “The green concept is cool! Of course it is inconvenient but it will be good for the environment. So I will definitely support it. Remember the “i am not a plastic bag” – protecting the environment is in vogue now. And it would so cool to carry one of these cloth bag to shop.”
And other housewives, at least the housewives I know all give thumbs up to this new green regulation. Chinese people may have the habit of using plastic bags and won’t give up the use of it until the government calls us to, but they do care about the environment.
So don’t always blame public awareness as obstacles to carry out the rule – the real trouble may come from the plastic producers and small-chain stores.