Announced yesterday, China is banning the distribution of free plastic bags—good news considering the Chinese now use about 3 billion plastic bags each day.
According to an article by the Associated Press, the ban starts June 1 and will completely eliminate the use of traditional, ultra-thin plastic bags. In addition, retailers will be required to charge customers for providing thicker bags.
The regulation is intended to bring about "a return to cloth bags and shopping baskets to reduce the use of plastic bags," which only became commonplace in China about 15 years ago.
Hopefully, the fact that free plastic bags are a relatively new thing to the country will make getting rid of them easier on its citizens, who seem to be responding positively to the new regulation.
One shopkeeper says that it might be a bother, "but these bags really do create a lot of pollution, so it should be a good thing."
Another resident says that the move shows that "China [is] serious about joining global efforts to stem environmental deterioration.
"I think this really shows that China is being a responsible country."