The Chinese government says it will prohibit stores from distributing free, disposable plastic bags starting this June, reports the AP. Amid growing fears about the environmental future of the world's largest nation, Beijing is asking people to use baskets or cloth carriers instead of the thin plastic bags that been dubbed "white pollution," as they clog garbage dumps and litter the landscape.
Beijing is also banning the production of the offending bags. "The super-thin bags have become a main source of plastic pollution as they are easy to break and thus disposed of carelessly," the government said in a statement. Chinese shops will still be allowed to sell plastic bags, although they must be sold separately.