McElwee2Charles McElwee by Fantake via Flickr

The efforts by China’s environmental authorities to ban the popular plastic bags from their supermarkets has been met with a lot of skepticism. But according to environmental lawyer Charles McElwee the introduction of the ban is now getting into phase 3 and really getting serious. Letting the supermarkets charge for their plastic bags seems to have been the smartest idea. From his weblog:

My personal observation has been that compliance with the policy at least within the outer-ring road in Shanghai has been pretty good. 袋子吗? I never buy the bags so I can’t comment on their thickness. I’m quite sure, however, I could not tell a 0.025mm bag from a 0.030mm bag. 

Remember when judging compliance that vendors do not need to charge for plastic bags for unpackaged food items (from raw meat to youtiao), although the bags they use must be “thick” ones. Guys, I know you like the ultra-thins, but really it’s time to give them up.

Commercial Charles McElwee is also a speakers at the China Speakers Bureau and a leading expert on China’s environmental change. When you need him at your conference, do get in touch. 

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