Sunday, March 23, 2008

No to Plastic Bags!!!

The other day I went to the market with my one year old. I brought along my re-usable canvass bag that I picked up from Geelong, Melbourne while attending the IMPAC conference in 2005. Then we also brought along our egg tray that we got from our HK trip. Its a mountain kitchen accessory that is used to put eggs when you camp out. Actually you can use it when you go to the market. This yellow egg tray can carry a dozen eggs safely.

I am happy to use my cloth bags going to market. I do not want to use any more plastic bags. The thing is I need to buy fish and the vendor had to put it in a plastic bag. Maybe in the future we will be made to bring our own reusable containers for such purchases in our local "palengke" (market).

Then I found this interesting article in one of my e-groups and decided it earns merit to post it here.

Soon!!! there will be no more plastic yehey!!!

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Plastic bags facing restrictions around the world

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 19:20:00 03/13/2008

LONDON -- Britain is bringing up the rear when it comes to the fight against non-biodegradable plastic bags, with most of its European partners, African nations and even China taking tougher measures.

The Australian government announced in January that it hoped to phase out the use of plastic bags from the nation's shopping centers by the end of the year.

However, it has not detailed how it aims to achieve the goal and Environment Minister Peter Garrett this month ruled out imposing a levy to discourage shoppers from using the bags.

Finance minister Alistair Darling announced plans Wednesday to impose a charge for single-used carrier bags, unless retails take voluntarily action.

In January, China announced that the sale and use of thin plastic bags is to be banned from June, from when shoppers will have to pay for them at supermarkets and other stores. In February its largest plastic bag factory, with a total of 20,000 employees, was shut down.

In France in 1996, supermarket chain Leclerc offered the first reusable, recyclable bags that could be exchanged for free for life. But it was not until 2007 that most hypermarkets charged for bags.

Supermarkets charge between five and 25 euro cents per plastic bag. Department stores often give reusable bags.

Since 1999, recycled plastic bags used for packaging food items have been banned in India, and the manufacture and use of certain recycled plastics is also banned. Those who violate the ban face a 10,000-rupee (160-euro, $250-) fine. The application of the ban varies depending on the state.

In Ireland, a "plastax" has been in place since 2002. It currently stands at 22 euro cents per bag, donated to ecological projects. Plastic bag use has been slashed by 90 percent.

A ban on bags made of thin plastic has been in force in Kenya since the end of 2007, along with a high excise duty on thicker plastic bags.

A plastic bag costs 12 euro cents in Norway, and it is also possible to buy paper bags. The government is considering a complete ban.

Prices for plastic bags in shops, supermarkets and shopping malls in South Africa vary between two and three euro cents.

In Switzerland, major stores provide plastic bags to customers, and the country does not closely regulate their distribution.

Last March, San Francisco became the first US city to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags in supermarkets. California requires big retailers to recycle plastic bags, as does New York. Americans use approximately 84 billion plastic bags a year.

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