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Rangoon bans production, sale of polythene bags

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Production and sale of polythene bags and cord in stores and groceries were banned last week by the Rangoon City Development Affairs Committee.

polythene-bags-bannedOn April 21, notices were sent to stores in Rangoon warning that if the ban was violated they could lose their license.

“We will go to the stores to inspect whether they are selling polythene bags or not’, Tun Hlaing, the head of the Rangoon eastern district municipality, told Mizzima.

Notices also were sent to polythene bag factories to halt production.

A manager at Olympic Plastic, a Rangoon-based polythene bag factory, said his company halted production of polythene bags upon receiving the order.

‘We replaced polythene bags with eco-friendly plastic bags, which are allowed. We won’t close the factory down’, he said.

The factory will take back polythene bags from stores and groceries and replace them with  eco-friendly plastic bags, he said.

However, a shop in Theingyi Market in Rangoon said that suppliers had not yet replaced polythene bags at the market.

“They haven’t provided eco-friendly bags so some shops are still selling leftover polythene bags’, he said, adding that his shop sold polythene bags on a commission basis, but shops that bought the bags have suffered a financial loss.
Many countries have taken similar action on polythene bags. Burma issued a ban order in Mandalay in 2009 and bag factories were also closed by order.

A manager from the OK Plastic factory in Mandalay told Mizzima, ‘Because of the ban, in the interim factories encountered some problems to survive. But the problems are not serious because the factories were informed about the ban one year in advance’.

Despite the ban, polythene bags are widely used across the country, including Rangoon and Mandalay, because the bags are cheap and effective in carrying articles.

In early March, a roadside vegetable merchant in Mandalay received a 15-day jail sentence for violating the ban.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 April 2011 15:43 )  

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