China has announced a ban on super-thin plastic bags in the country as well as a fee for other plastic bags, both beginning on June 1. The ban was prompted by the usual plastic-bag concerns of rampant unsightly litter and the wasted resources used to produce it all. “Our country consumes huge amounts of plastic bags every year,” a notice posted on the central government website said. “While providing convenience to consumers, they have also caused serious pollution and waste of energy and resources because of excessive use and inadequate recycling,” it said. The notice suggested widespread use of cloth bags and baskets instead. Penalties for rule flouters, including manufacturers of plastic bags that are less than 0.025 millimeters thick, include fines and other penalties. Up to 3 billion plastic bags a day are used in China.

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