The Government must act now to ban plastic bags nationwide or risk being outflanked by China, said a London Assembly official.
More than 3 billion plastic bags a day are used in China and the Chinese Government wants to ban the use of them in order to fight its growing pollution problem.
Speaking to MRW London Assembly chair of the environment committee Darren Johnson has recently called on the UK Government to introduce a levy on plastic bags.
He said: The news that China is to ban its plastic bag use shows that the Government really needs to act now or they risk being outflanked by China. We need to bring in legislation as soon as possible.
Obviously China has got some appalling environmental issues to confront. But it has started to wake up to environmental realities.
The plastic bag debate is set to continue in 2008 with many authorities across the country pushing for its ban. The London Councils are currently trying to push a Bill through Parliament to ban plastic bags in London.
We need to be encouraging reusable bags in this country. The issue will be one of the key things for 2008 in terms of the waste agenda. London still has one of the worst recycling rates in the country, added Johnson.
I am very encouraged by the moves in China and I very much hope that 2008 will be the final year when we get a national legislation for a ban on plastic bags.
Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Pringle who has been campaigning for Scotland to ban plastic bags also welcomed the news. He said: This is great news that the biggest country in the world with the biggest population has stepped in and said as of tomorrow we are banning plastic bags. This will cause me to push my cause as much as I can and I hope that a new SNP government will ban plastic bag use in Scotland.