Hong Kong supermarket chain asks shoppers to pay for plastic bags
Nov 20, 2007, 7:57 GMT
Hong Kong - One of Hong Kong's two leading supermarket chains is to introduce a charge for plastic bags starting Wednesday ahead of an anticipated mandatory 'green tax' next year.
More than 200 branches of Park 'n' Shop will for the first time ask customers to pay 20 Hong Kong cents (2 US cents) for each bag, the chain's managing director Philippe Giard announced Tuesday.
However, if they refuse, they will be allowed to take the plastic bags for free, said Mr Giard. He said the scheme aimed to get customers used to taking reuseable bags when they go shopping.
Littering is a major problem in Hong Kong, a notoriously environmentally unfriendly, densely populated city of 6.9 million which has one of the world's largest per capita carbon footprints.
A mandatory 50 Hong Kong cents 'green tax' on plastic bags is to be introduced in all major supermarkets and chain stores by the former British colony's government next year.
Many plastic bag manufacturers with factories in China are based in Hong Kong and they have argued against the tax, saying many of the alternatives to plastic bags are less environmentally friendly.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur