About 2,000 stores in Hong Kong will stop handing out plastic bags to customers starting next month, according to a press release Xinhua received from the Hong Kong Retail Management Association on Thursday.
The campaign, announced by the association on Feb. 18, will be launched on March 3, with the aim to encourage further reduction of plastic bag usage across the city. About 2,000 stores of 18 major retailers will be involved.
The association expected that this program would help reach the industry’s voluntary target of reducing plastic bag distribution by more than 400 million at the participating retailers.
This will represent a 50 percent decrease from the 820 million plastic bags distributed in 2005, the baseline on which the voluntary target was set.
"The retail industry is confident that the launch of 'Every Day No Plastic Bag' will further reduce usage of plastic bags significantly," Caroline Mak, chairman of the association, said they will continue to encourage other retailers to join the program to help protect Hong Kong's environment.
The association said members of the public have responded enthusiastically to the current No Plastic Bag Day, which has been conducted once-a-week by most retailers.
According to the Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong, voluntary efforts helped reduce 150 million plastic bags in 2006.