Environmental Economics in China

We were in China in 2008 when China banned stores from handing out free plastic shopping bags. It is a fact that some industries must suffer to clean the environment.

Tough legislation in 2008 was evidence that China’s government accepts the need to address environmental issues. A new ministry was also created to deal with environmental challenges.

This report from Al Jazeera is an example of the sacrifice and challenge to go green in China.

Tony Cheng reported for Al Jazeera about China’s challenge to achieve growth without damaging the environment.

Cheng says the largest plastic bag producer in China was closed after the government banned super markets from handing out free plastic bags.

This factory produced 250 million tons of plastic bags annually. Twenty thousand workers lost their jobs with few opportunities for new jobs.

However, the plastic bag industry was a small part of China’s workforce.

In 2008 China, of 814 million workers, about 29% worked in Agriculture, 27% in industry and 33% in service occupations.

The main industries are mining and ore processing, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, cement, chemicals, fertilizers, consumer products, food processing, transportation equipment such as automobiles and aircraft, telecommunications equipment and commercial space launch vehicles.

In other areas where China plans to clean the environment, China is building newer cleaner coal burning power plants and shutting down the old plants.

In fact, CNN Money reports, “Beijing’s initiatives to curb pollution have resulted in the closure of many dirty factories, while remaining manufacturing plants face stricter environmental regulations.”

Learn more about China Going Green


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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