As a decisive move welcomed by many environmental activists, the Chinese government banned shops and stores from giving away plastic bags. Commonly seen super-thin one time plastic bags are flatly banned from manufacturing and circulating, while 'environmental friendly' bags are banned from giving away free.
Shoppers were encouraged to bring a reusable bag with them with go shopping. Shops and stores must charge a fee if a packing bag is used. Though moderately at 5 cents, the fee is expected to make a significant impact on people's shopping habit.
Western developed countries criticized the move as authoritarianism, undemocratic and suppressive. However, this is not the first time the Chinese government is scolded by the West on environmental issues. When the Chinese government attempted to limit the destructive harvesting of ancient forests in China, western countries denounced the measure would raise the price of woods on the International market.