02 Jul 2008:
China’s Ban on Plastic Bags
Shows Early Success in Cutting Use
A month after its inception, China’s ban on free plastic bags
and on the production and sale of ultra-thin plastic bags has already effected dramatic change, according to the Worldwatch Institute’s China Program. Plastic bag use has halved in Guangzhou supermarkets since the June 1 crackdown, while some Beijing markets are using a mere tenth of the bags they were before the ban. Though some reports indicated that enforcement might be difficult, the government has already fined at least one shopkeeper
the maximum allowable sum of $1,200, demonstrating its seriousness on this issue. The ban, which was motivated by concerns about energy security as well as the environment, is expected to help reduce the 37 million barrels of oil China uses on plastic packaging annually.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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, winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, documents the work of African researchers monitoring wildlife in Uganda's remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Watch the video.