24 billion plastic bags saved in three years

13:55, May 27, 2011      

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In the three years that the ban on free plastic bags has been in effect, China has reduced its usage of plastic bags by 24 billion, and plastic consumption has dropped by 600,000 tons, which is equal to saving 3.6 million tons of oil or 5 million tons of standard coal, said Li Jing, an official of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), on May 26.

The use of plastic bags in supermarkets and shopping malls has been reduced by two-thirds while the amount of "white pollution" has been curbed to a certain extent, Li said.

Li said, although some progress has been made in the prohibition of plastic bags, public awareness about the harms of using them still must be raised and greater efforts should be made in supervision, especially in farmer's fairs or peddler's fairs, where sellers and stalls are scattered, making them difficult to supervise.

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