The Los Angeles Times follows up on the recently announced ban on plastic shopping bags:
If China can pull off the bag ban with its 1.3 billion people, it will set an example for the rest of the world, improving its negative environmental image and convincing skeptics that it has the political will to tackle vested interests and lazy habits in the interest of going green.
“Plastic shopping bags, due to reasons such as excessive use and inefficient recycling, have caused serious waste of energy and resources and environmental pollution,” the State Council said on its website in announcing the ban.
…China’s record on related bans has not been all that successful, however, prompting criticism that this is little more than a publicity stunt. In recent years, Beijing has announced bans on plastic packing materials, disposable wooden chopsticks, plastic lunch trays and throwaway cosmetic items distributed in hotel rooms, only to see each restriction quietly ignored within months.