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Plastic bags ban helps foster life

06-01-2011 13:50 BJT

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China has banned retailers from providing free plastic bags to customers for three years. CCTV reporter Wang Tao takes a look at the effectiveness of the ban's enforcement and what the country will do next to close the loopholes.

Many Chinese now carry their own bags when shopping. Three years ago, the country banned free plastic shopping bags. Official data shows that an average of 24 billion plastic bags have been saved each year.

"The use of plastic bags in supermarkets has dropped by over two thirds in many cities. That's saved more than 600-thousand tons of plastic in three years, equal to 3.6 million tons of petroleum," said Li Jin, division deputy Dir. Gen. of Nat'l development & reform commission.

But loopholes are still seen in free markets and convenience stores. Many sellers still provide free plastic bags. The reasons are simple: no supervision and inflation.

"It's impossible to charge for every plastic bag. Customers won't come," said the shop owner.

China has banned retailers from providing free plastic bags to customers for three years.

Authorities say they will step up the enforcement, and more supporting policies will come out soon to close the loopholes.

The new rules will make local governments' efforts one criterion for their overall performance and put the major responsibility of ban enforcement on free market owners.

Li said, "We'll clarify the responsibility of free market operators, and penalize those with poor performances, so the use of bags will be limited."

And as for shop owners, a special campaign aimed at illegal production and free use of plastic bags in the retail market is coming soon. And stricter penalties, too.

Backgrounder: Plastic bag ban abroad

Editor:Shi Jierui |Source: CNTV.CN

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