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Chinese use of plastic bags drops by 30%


Over the past seven years, from 2008-2015, plastic bag use in Chinese supermarkets and stores has decreased by 30%. The Chinese government observed the changes since it implemented restrictions on plastic bag use in 2008.

Citing surveys from trade associations, 700,000 tonnes of shopping plastic bags were used in 2015, compared to 1 million in 2007. Less than 800,000 tonnes of shopping plastic bags were used per annum in the intervening years, according to a report in the People's Daily.

The reduction over the seven years combined is equivalent to cutting crude oil consumption by 8.4 million tonnes and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tonnes, according to the report.

The government introduced rules banning supermarkets and shops from handing out free plastic bags to customers on 1 June 2008, to reduce "white pollution" – the popular term for plastic bags and Styrofoam packaging. It also prohibited the production and sale of bags thinner than 0.025 mm.


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