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90 Pct of HK Shoppers Dump Plastic Bags for "No Plastic Bag Day"
    2006-04-16 13:12:02      Xinhua

UP to 90 percent of shoppers at Hong Kong's biggest supermarket chains used their won carrier bags on Saturday while Hong Kong was launching the "No Plastic Bag Day" ,according to a report by South China Morning Post on Sunday.


A majority of Saturday shoppers took part in the day-long experiment by environmental activists to push home the message that plastic is not fantastic, the English daily said.


The English daily quoted Angus Ho Hon-wai, chairman of the Green Student Council, who campaigned for the event involving more than 1,200 retail stores, as saying that he could not expected better.


He said citizens from 80-year-old grannies to domestic helpers went shopping with their own bags. His council was greatly encouraged that the event was a success.


Parknshop and Welcome chain stores, the two major groups for daily goods selling in Hong Kong, more than 80 percent of shoppers either had reusable bags or old shopping bags, or gladly paid 50 cents per bag as a donation to Oxfam, a local charity organization.


To minimize complaints, Mannings and Wing On Department Store had sales assistants warm customers by informing customers Saturday was a no plastic bag day.


More than 1,000 shops and supermarkets in Hong Kong joined "No Plastic Bag Day" Saturday in a move to persuade shoppers out of excessive use of environmentally-unfriendly plastic bags.


Shoppers are asked to donate 50 Hong Kong cents (about 6 U.S. cents) for every plastic bag if they insist on using it.


Participating stores on Saturday include the city's three major supermarket chains Welcome, ParknShop and China Resources Vanguard, and pharmacy chains Watsons and Mannings.


Every day, an estimated 33 million plastic bags are dumped in Hong Kong's landfills, accounting for nearly 6 percent of the total 17,500 tons of rubbish put daily into the landfills.


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