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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

China bans plastic bags!

China announces plastic bag ban

The Chinese government says it is banning shops from handing out free plastic bags from June this year, in a bid to curb pollution.
Production of ultra-thin plastic bags will also be banned, the State Council said in a statement.

Instead, people will be encouraged to use baskets or reusable cloth bags for their shopping, the council said.

The move comes amid growing concern about pollution and environmental degradation in China.

China was using huge quantities of plastic bags each year, the State Council, China's cabinet, said in its directive, posted on the main government website.

"Plastic shopping bags, due to reasons such as excessive use and inefficient recycling, have caused serious energy and resources waste and environment pollution," it said.

Easily discarded

Of particular concern were cheap, flimsy bags that many shopkeepers routinely handed out to customers.

"The super-thin bags have especially become a main source of plastic pollution as they are easy to break and thus disposed of carelessly," the statement said.

Shops that violated the new rules could be fined or have their goods confiscated, it said.

The council also called for greater recycling efforts from rubbish collectors, and suggested financial authorities should consider higher taxes on the production and sale of plastic bags.

In recent years, China's rapid development has triggered concerns over pollution and use of resources.

But correspondents say that there is a growing awareness that more needs to be done to protect the environment.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7178287.stm

Published: 2008/01/09 07:38:14 GMT

© BBC MMVIII

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year’s Resolution: LIVBLUE (Live like you love the ocean)

Notwithstanding a major NYC ad agency, The Economist Magazine, The New York Times, and the Pantone Corporation all declaring that 2008 is the year of Blue, my resolution is to LIVBLUE.

Oceanographers have been saying this for a very long time: ours is a blue planet. Most of its surface, habitat and biological diversity is oceanic. 99% of the livable space on Earth is Ocean.

Global warming is fundamentally an ocean issue. Everything we produce on land eventually ends up in the ocean. We take our food, and increasingly our fuel and our water, from the ocean. And we love to go to the ocean’s edge for renewal.

So, 2008 looks to be the year blue breaks through.

A prediction for the upcoming year: an avalanche of BLUE. Magazine covers, TV programs, advertisers and the global environmental movement will pay even more attention to the ocean, it’s life giving potential as well as it’s urgent problems.

Green will still be strong. Some of the Earth is green, after all. In particular the part most humans are most fond of and call home.

The resolution to LIVBLUE, is simply a gentle reminder to myself. I resolve to live a little more like I love the ocean. To eat more sustainably and locally, cut more plastic out of my life, make my travel count for conservation whenever possible, get even further away from fossil fuels, vote for candidates who care about what I do, support and work with blue organizations, and spend more time in/on/under the ocean with my friends and family.

I’ve started a blog at LIVBLUE.org where I’ll post thoughts on living like you love the ocean. I invite you to LIVBLUE and to send your ideas along to share or comment on the blog. Look for the LIVBLUE.org group on Facebook as well.

Here’s to a very bright, blue 2008 (PANTONE #18-3943 TCX, to be exact).