Myanmar's main city bans plastic bags

YANGON, MYANMAR - Authorities in Yangon have banned plastic bags, state media said Tuesday, in an attempt to stop non-degradable waste polluting Myanmar's main city.

"Production of polythene bags and ropes, and storage and sale of those items at stores and groceries in the townships are not allowed starting from 22 April," the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

It said polythene bag factories which failed to close would lose their operating licenses and face legal action.

The move comes two years after authorities in Myanmar's central city of Mandalay successfully prohibited polythene bags to protect the environment.

"It's a good idea. We use these bags everywhere too easily. Whenever I saw these unrecycled polythene bags in the garbage, I worry for our environment," said Mya Mya, a 60-year-old housewife in Yangon.

Some department stores in Yangon sell recycled shopping bags, but most shoppers still use polythene bags.