Sunday, January 13, 2008


Good for China.

BEIJING - Declaring war on the "white pollution" choking its cities, farms and waterways, is banning free plastic shopping bags and calling for a return to the cloth bags of old — steps largely welcomed by merchants and shoppers on Wednesday.

The measure eliminates the flimsiest bags and forces stores to charge for others, making China the latest nation to target plastic bags in a bid to cut waste and conserve resources.

Beijing residents appeared to take the ban in stride, reflecting rising environmental consciousness and concern over skyrocketing oil prices.

I have been bringing my reusable bags to the market for a while now. I just leave them in the car and have them when I need them. I see more and more(thought not a lot) people doing the same and all the grocery stores are now carrying they're own reusable bags. Whole Foods evens takes a nickel off your bill for every reusable bag you use while Trader Joe's puts your name in the weekly drawing for a $25 gift certificate if you use your own bags. More of the stores should use some incentives this way.

It has always been fairly common in Europe. I know in the UK you see the shoppers with their little wheeled bags filling them in the aisles of the markets. I have two nice bags from the British store Marks&Spencer which are very nice and strong.

The movement seems slow to catch on here in the U.S. and as far as I know San Francisco is the first city to ban plastic bags altogether. Let's hope more people get the message. Seems a shame we have wait for the government to pass another law for us to do the sensible thing. It might even help lower some of our food costs. If you aren't using reusable shopping bags, why not?

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