Myanmar to create Yangon as plastic-free city

21:13, October 30, 2009      

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Small and thin plastic producers in Myanmar's commercial city of Yangon have been ordered to stop their production by the end of next month to pave way for creating a thin-plastic-bag-free city and bring about a clean environment, said sources with the Yangon City Development Committee Friday.

The ultimatum was set for Nov. 30 for the close-down of such business in the former capital.

There is a total of 146 plastic industries in Yangon and disposal of used plastic bags in the city amounted to 200 tons per day, the sources said.

Plastic bag production in Myanmar has dropped by half this year after the authorities banned using small and thin plastic bags in the first three cities of Mandalay, Bagan and Nay Pyi Taw starting four months ago due to environmental impact reason, according to a market survey.

The import of raw material for producing plastic bags has also decreased, merchants said.

The authorities have urged the public to re-use paper bag, cloth bag, banana leaf and tree leaf instead in packing things or food.

The program of creating plastic-free zones is also being extended to Myitgyina and Sagaing in northwestern part of the country, reports said.

Plastic production has been banned in Mandalay since 2004 and the prohibition on use of small and thin plastic bags in daily life followed in June this year.

As part of its measures, the Mandalay municipal authorities seized and destroyed a total of 321 kilogram of plastic bags from five townships in the city then.

Myanmar people have been widely and traditionally using small and thin plastic bags for packing things and even food in markets and restaurants as well as packing rubbish for throwing, building up a large amount of garbage daily for disposal.

Although the ban has not affected Yangon, the Yangon municipal authorities has launched a program of collecting disposed plastic bags in the city and re-using them in production of plastic pipes as part of its bid in environment conservation.

Source: Xinhua
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