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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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.