Apr 27, 2011

Yangon-city bans production and sales of plastic bags in a move to protect the environment

Yangon authorities have banned plastic bags, state reported Tuesday, in an attempt to stop non-degredable waste polluting Myanmar's main city.

Plastic bags never fully decompose; instead they gradually just turn into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic.

"Production of polyethylene (petroleum-derived polymer) bags and ropes, and storage and sale of those items at stores and groceries in the townships are not allowed starting from 22 April," the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

It said polythylene bag factories which failed to close would lose their operating licenses and face legal action.

The move comes two years after authorities in Myanmar's central city of Mandalay successfully prohibited polyethylene bags to protect the environment.

"It's a good idea. We use these bags everywhere too easily. Whenever I saw these unrecycled polythylene bags in the garbage, I worry for our environment," said Mya Mya, a 60-year-old housewife in Yangon.

Some department stores in Yangon sell recycled shopping bags, but most shoppers still use polythylene bags.

Source: AFP with contribution by Myanmar Business News