China passed a new law taking effect in June that will ban the sale of flimsy plastic bags, and will impose a fee for using the thicker plastic bags that would still be available to shoppers and merchants.
In an article highlighting China's new law by AP writer Christopher Bodeen, (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080110/ap_on_re_as/china_plastic_bags;_ylt=ApMabP1VVqSbu4gxYSY7kIys0NUE), he reviewed the status of other worldwide efforts to ban the bags:
Internationally, legislation to discourage plastic bag use has been passed in parts of South Africa, Ireland and Taiwan, where authorities either tax shoppers who use them or impose fees on companies that distribute them. Bangladesh already bans them, as do at least 30 remote Alaskan villages.
Last year, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban petroleum-based plastic bags in large grocery stores. In France, supermarket chains have begun shying away from giving away plastic bags and German stores must pay a recycling fee if they wish to offer them. Ireland's surcharge on bags imposed in 2003 has been credited with sharply reducing demand.
ECS has a question--when is "green" Seattle going to address banning the bags?