Plastic bag ban takes effect

In a bid to save energy and protect the environment, China on Sunday banned ultra-thin plastic bags and made shopkeepers charge for carrier bags.

Under the new regulations, bags under 0.025 millimetres thick are banned. Shopkeepers found breaking the law face fines and could have their goods confiscated.

Reuters reported that shoppers in downtown Beijing and in Internet chatrooms seemed largely sympathetic to the idea. "To protect the environment, they shouldn’t provide plastic bags," said one Internet posting on sina.com. "As time goes on, people will get into the habit of carrying their own bags when they go shopping."

China consumes 37 million barrels of crude oil each year to manufacture more than 1 trillion plastic bags.

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