China bans free plastic bags

BEIJING: China is to ban the use of free plastic bags in supermarkets from 1 June in an attempt to reduce the estimated three billion used in the country every day. In future, shoppers will have to pay either for a new bag or reuse an old one. "While providing convenience to consumers, they have also caused serious pollution, and waste energy and resources, because of excessive use and inadequate quality recycling," the Chinese government said in a statement.