Topics: San Mateo County, California, Lunar eclipses, San Francisco Pages: 12 (3018 words) Published: December 10, 2013
Phase-out of lightweight plastic bags
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This article is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (July 2013) Single-use plastic shopping bags are usually distributed (for free) to customers by stores when purchasing goods. It is a popular method that is practiced in many countries for being a strong, cheap, and hygienic way of transporting items. Lightweight bags are commonly made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic.[1] Problems associated with plastic bags include use of non-renewable resources (such as crude oil, gas and coal),[2] disposal, and environmental impacts. A car could drive about 11 metres on the amount of petroleum used to make a single plastic bag.[1] In Australia alone 6 billion HDPE bags were used in 2002.[1] Usage reduced to 5.6 billion in 2004,[2] and 3.9 billion in 2007.[1] Plastic bags can block drains, trap birds and kill livestock. The World Wide Fund for Nature has estimated that over 100,000 whales, seals, and turtles die every year[2] as a result of eating or being trapped by plastic bags. The term white pollution has been coined to describe the local and global effects of discarded plastic bags upon the environment. Governments all over the world have taken action to either ban the sale of lightweight bags, charge customers for lightweight bags or generate taxes from the stores who sell them.[3] Major countries such as South Africa, China, Taiwan and Macedonia have a total ban on the bag.[3] Contents [hide]

1 Issues
2 Regional developments
2.1 Africa
2.1.1 Mauritania
2.1.2 Kenya
2.1.3 Rwanda
2.1.4 South Africa
2.1.5 Tanzania
2.1.6 Uganda
2.2 Asia
2.2.1 Bangladesh
2.2.2 China
2.2.3 Hong Kong
2.2.4 India
2.2.5 Malaysia
2.2.6 Taiwan
2.3 Europe
2.3.1 Denmark
2.3.2 Germany
2.3.3 Ireland
2.3.4 Italy
2.3.5 United Kingdom
2.4 North America
2.4.1 United States
2.4.2 Canada
2.4.3 Mexico
2.5 Oceania
2.5.1 Australia
2.5.2 New Zealand
3 Alternatives
4 See also
5 References
6 External links

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2012)

Plastic waste on the mounds of garbage in the Philippines.
Plastic bags cause many minor and major issues in geographical terms. The most general issue with plastic bags is the amount of waste produced. Many plastic bags end up on streets and are aesthetically displeasing.[1] When disposed of properly, they take many years to decompose and break down generating large amounts of garbage over long periods of time. If not disposed of properly the bags can pollute waterways, clog sewers and have been found in oceans affecting the habitat of animals and marine creatures.[1] Lightweight plastic bags are also blown into trees and other plants and can be mistaken for flowers by animals affecting their diet. Regional developments[edit]

Phase out of lightweight plastic bags around the world
A full ban
A partial ban
A tax on some plastic bags
Mauritania banned the use, manufacture and import of plastic bags from January 2013 as a way to protect the environment, livestock, and marine species.[4] Kenya[edit]
Kenya banned the manufacture and import of plastic bags from January 2011 as a way to protect the environment.[5] Rwanda[edit]
Rwanda prohibited shops from giving away plastic bags to their customers in 2004.[6] South Africa[edit]
Plastic bags were a major issue in South Africa before the ban. All lightweight plastic bags were banned in 2003 and thicker plastic bagged are taxed.[7] Tanzania[edit]
The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar banned plastic bags in 2005.[8] Tanzania introduced a nationwide ban on plastic bags in 2006.[9] Uganda[edit]

Heap of trash including plastic bags in Kampala, Uganda...
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