No more free plastic bags in China's bookstores, drugstores: official

09:19, May 29, 2011      

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China will expand its ban that prohibits shops from giving out free plastic bags and will increase efforts against their use in order to reduce environmental pollution, a senior government official said Saturday.

Now bookstores and drugstores will also be prohibited from handing out free plastic bags, and all shops and supermarkets will be supervised to adhere to the policy, said Zhao Jiarong, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at an event marking the third anniversary of the ban.

But she did not say when the ban targeting bookstores and drugstores would become effective.

China started banning shops from giving out free plastic bags and prohibiting production and usage of plastic bags thinner than 0.025 millimeters since June 1, 2008.

The prohibition has reduced the annual consumption of more than 24 billion plastic bags or 600,000 tonnes of plastics during the past three years, equaling a savings of 3.6 million tonnes of petroleum, according to the NDRC.

Zhao said the government will launch an inspection in major regions where producers of ultra-thin plastic bags converge and eliminate the sources of such bags. Greater efforts will be made to check retailers and crack down on violations, she said.

The government will also launch a campaign in communities, schools and markets to increase people's knowledge about the policy and their awareness of the danger in using ultra-thin plastic bags, she added.

Source: Xinhua
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