China’s In

It appears that China wants to keep lurching toward environmental responsibility, sprawling development and fossil fuel use boom aside. This week, the government announced that plastic shopping bags would no longer given out for free, beginning in June. Manufacture, use or sale of very thin plastic bags would be outlawed entirely. I’m curious if their ban on manufacturing extends to manufacture for shipping abroad, and if China is as big a producer of plastic bags for the rest of the world as they seem to be of everything else.

NYC Council passed a measure requiring stores to provide recycling for plastic bags, and to have reusable bags on sale.  Makes sense, I like the idea that the life cycle of a product (the plastic bag) shouldn’t be ignored once it’s passed off to a user- a well-designed product has a viable disposal plan, too.

As much as plastic bags are overused and wasted, I will be a bit put out when their free distribution is banned.  I use them for all sorts of gross-things disposal, and to collect my recycling in accordance with Alexandria regulations.  Mostly, I’ll just be cranky that I have to buy what I’ve taken for granted for so long.  If I have to pay for it though, at least I’ll use it with respect.  So hey, let’s let the market work this one out!  Put a price on them, then see if people waste them.  This is one of those plans where the magical hand of the “free” market might just work out for everybody.

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