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China to curb use of plastic bags

By Xinhua

Beijing : China will impose limits on the use of plastic bags starting June 1, as part of its dual campaign to protect the environment and save energy.

In a circular on the government web site Tuesday, the General Office of the State Council ordered a ban on the production, sale and use of ultra-thin bags (defined as less than 0.025 mm thick) from June 1. Supermarkets and shops will be banned from giving free plastic bags to customers from that date.

The campaign will encourage citizens to use fewer plastic bags. Supermarkets and shops have been instructed to charge separately for bags, which must be clearly priced.

The circular said the ministry of commerce and the country’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, are discussing detailed regulations on the paid use of plastic bags.

Dong Jinshi, vice-chairman of the Waste Plastics Recycling Committee of the China Plastics Processing Industry Association (WPRC-CPPIA) said that the ban would cut use of plastics bags by more than 60 percent and raise the recycling rate of single-use plastic bags. He also said that the country should quickly introduce substitutes for plastic bags.