by , 06/22/07
filed under: Design, News, Policy, Urban design

Plastic Bags in China

Lawmakers are closer to passing an environmental levy to cut plastic bag use in Hong Kong. “No Plastic Bag Day” campaigns may become permanent. According to a report released recently by Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong throws out over 8 billion plastic shopping bags every year (that’s more than 3 bags per person a day).

The proposed plan will work in phases—chain or large supermarkets will be among the first retailers required to charge HK 50 cents (roughly 6 cents USD) for each plastic bag. This alone is predicted to cut plastic bag use in Hong Kong by a billion in just one year. The money collected from the levy will also “be used primarily for environmental work such as infrastructure, education and other activities that are related to the environment.”

+ Via Hong Kong Environment Protection Office

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  1. buzzbomber1 June 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    If you have to use a plastic bag at least reuse it. I use every one I get for wastebaskets, clothes hampers, recycling bins, etc. I do cheat, however. I have help from a clever device I found on Amazon. http://amzn.to/JMi9LV

  2. Agua Caliente May 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I’ve been wondering if we could make our selves a physical pocket like a kangaloo. Although I am against GMO products.

  3. The Organic Mom May 26, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Recycling poisonous substances only result in more poison. Watch this video and ask yourself if you really, really want plastic to come back…it never leaves us…we have to STOP using it for everything from beauty products, shampoo, baby bottles, food containers, because our grandparents survived on this planet without it. Watch:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPBO-c5GMDQ&feature=related

  4. Margaret July 18, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    One more note: regarding plastic bags as litter, shall we ban the even more common litter elements: styrofoam cups (from every fast food outlet), plastic bottles, chip bags, paper napkins and tissues, PAPER of all kinds, etc. etc. etc. ?? I live on a street between a business district and a high school. A number of us are out several times a week, picking up fast food elements from the street — VERY FEW of these elements are plastic bags, many more are the items I mention above. If more people would act more citizen-ly and dispose of their trash, we wouldn’t even be talking about this. Banning trash isn’t going to help. Plastic bags AID in trash disposal. Again, I do think this ban talk might be a scam by the plastics industry.

  5. Margaret July 18, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    I suspect this plastic bag ban fad is a scam by the plastics industry to make more money. Charge for bags at the register (i.e., suppliers can charge retailers more per bag), or, in the case of a ban, consumers can only get bags by buying them in quantity (in boxes, etc.). Either way, more $$ for the industry. True, less trash, but we’ve come to need plastic bags, so one way or the other we’ll pay more. And re landfill comments — most grocery stores (S&S, Star, WF, etc. etc. etc.) have recycle bins for plastic bags. We can teach recycling — maybe even teach cities to collect, the way they collect other grades of plastic for recycle now. Banning is an answer to very little, and a spike in profits for the few.

  6. Rita Jhaveri July 5, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Sorry missed giving the site name….The site is http://www.conserveindia.org

  7. Rita Jhaveri July 5, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Please see this site-In India the plastic is recycled to make beaytiful products for international markets-surely Honk Kong with all its monetary strengths and design capabalities can come up with wonderful products….from recycled polybags.afcourse it is a project taht someone needs to take up.

  8. Ben Schiendelman June 27, 2007 at 10:42 am

    EC, royalestel:

    A plastic bag’s life cycle does not “end” under the sink. It goes into the landfill after that, too.

  9. royalestel June 24, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    I’m with you EC. But I think adding a surcharge to encourage plastic bag alternatives is a better idea than a ban.

  10. kirsty June 24, 2007 at 10:15 am

    many people mentions the inconvenience of banning plastic bags, but there are plenty of reusable bags available that are waterproof and can be cleaned easily for messy items such as fish/poultry/meat.

    the reality is that caring for the environment (or anything) means that we sometimes have to tolerate inconvenience. There is bound to be inconvenience in using reusable items, because of the extra cleaning required.
    that really applies to everything- disposable utensils, lunchboxes, etc….

  11. herman June 24, 2007 at 12:53 am

    i always think that the designer of the recycle bag should be more sensitive about people’s need when doing grocery especially for chinese people. When I bought a freshy kill fish, how am i suppose to put it next to newspaper/dry food/bread?

    there should be some kind of seperation inside and also to easily clean by laundry.

    however, many of the recycle/eco bag, once put it in laundry is finished.

  12. Jason June 23, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Check out Chris Jordans pictures of shopping bags – plastic and paper:


    These images really put the average use of bags into perspective. It’s scary!


  13. recilamundos June 23, 2007 at 4:38 am

    This migth interest. Its a brand new prodcut to RE-USE de plastic bag


    Sorry, it’s in spanish, but it’s easy to understand.

  14. EC June 23, 2007 at 3:32 am

    I’ve never quite understood this.. why ban plastic bags. their current life cycle usually ends in the household bin holding the garbage, being the perfect size and strength for it. why not make them out of a recycled / recyclable material, most off the shelf garbage bags are already, aren’t they?

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