When it comes to grocery shopping, it has always been a question of paper or plastic – but not anymore. With reusable bags now in style, some stores (and China) are ready to do away with plastic bags.
Reuters reported today that China launched an initiative to ban plastic bags as of June 1. The Chinese government is putting pressure on the manufacturers of the plastic bags through tax hikes on plastic bag production, in attempt to limit the amount of litter in China’s countryside.
Although it’s unclear how well this ban on plastic bags will work, China’s efforts are impressive, especially during a time when the country had been targeted by avid protesters around its treatment of Tibet.
Back in the United States, Whole Foods decided to go plastic-free. USA Today reported that Whole Foods stop offering disposable, plastic grocery bags in all 270 stores in the USA, Canada and United Kingdom as of Earth Day, April 22. According to Whole Foods, this change will keep roughly 100 million plastic bags out of the environment during the time period of April 22 to the end of 2008.
Whole Foods has replaced plastic bags with the option to purchase reusable ones for just 99 cents. The reusable bags are 100% recycled, and customers receive 5 cents of their purchase every time they reuse a bag.