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Backgrounder: Plastic bag ban abroad

06-01-2011 13:52 BJT

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With plastic being one of the top offenders when it comes to litter, many countries have introduced a bag ban to combat the problem. Ireland led the way back in 2003 after the government there introduced a hefty charge for the plastic privilege. Zhou Xiran takes a look at some other nations' control measures.

About a quarter of the world has a plastic bag ban in place.

Among them is Germany, which has a similar policy to that in China, where customers have to purchase plastic bags.

According to the Statistics Bureau of Germany, over 80 per cent of consumers never purchase plastic bags, opting to use eco-friendly bags instead, costing around 1 to 3 Euros. That's 10 to 30 yuan.

"I always carry my own shopping bags. To protect the environment. My bag can basically take a lot of stuff and it's very useful."

A ban was introduced in Mexico last year. Businesses now face fines of over 11,000 US dollars - or 36 hours in jail - if they give non-recycled plastic bags to customers.

According to the Statistics Bureau of Germany, over 80 per cent of
consumers never purchase plastic bags, opting to use eco-friendly bags
instead, costing around 1 to 3 Euros.

"I tend to not to use plastic bags, because it does damage to our environment. We use paper bags and recycle boxes instead, then just put them into the car to take home."

Plastic bags are still in heavy circulation in India despite the government increasing the fine to around 2,000 US dollars or a five year jail punishment.

But things are looking brighter - and cleaner - in Hong Kong where the use of plastic bags dropped by 90 per cent after the Environment Protection Department introduced a small levy.

Editor:Shi Jierui |Source: CNTV.CN

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