Shantou has begun to ban free plastic bags commonly given out at supermarkets and shops from June 1, according to an article in the Shantou City News (SCN). Instead, consumers are encouraged to use recyclable bags, such as cloth bags, to carry their items, or to pay for plastic bags.
The new plastic bag ban, which took effect on June 1, bans production, sale and use of ultra-thin (0.025mm) plastic bags to reduce pollution. On June 1st, some supermarkets, including Wal-Mart and Pufeng Lotus Center (a shopping center), stopped providing free plastic bags and encouraging consumers to use the circulation-used bags to take the goods.
For consumers who still want to use plastic bags, Wal-Mart will sell to them, at 0.1 Yuan or 0.2 Yuan or 0.3 Yuan based on the size. In Lotus Center, two kinds of plastic bags were sold which cost 0.3 Yuan or 0.4 Yuan while cloth shopping bags cost 2.9 Yuan each. Different from the common packing goods, food like fresh meat and prepared food are still using ultra-thin plastic bags as in the past.
According to the SCN, on the first day of the plastic bag ban, some consumers use their cloth bags bought in the shop to carry their goods, and others brought their own bags. But just several customers bought the ultra-thin plastic bags to use. “It’s really difficult to get used to the change by the plastic bag ban for us but we have to make it,” Ms Lin said in the report.