Plastic bag consumption reduces in China

BEIJING: The number of plastic bags consumed in China’s stores and supermarkets decreased by one-third in 2015 from that in 2007, a year before the Chinese government imposed restrictions on the use of such materials.

Citing surveys from trade associations, Chinese media on February 17 said 7,00,000 tonnes of shopping plastic bags were used in 2015, compared to a million tonnes in 2007.

Less than 8,00,000 tonnes of shopping plastic bags were used per annum in the intervening years, Xinhua reported.

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 Chinese government introduced rules banning supermarkets and shops from handing out free plastic bags to customers on June 1, 2008 to reduce energy consumption and protect the environment. It also prohibited production and sale of bags thinner than 0.025 mm.