Mar 052008

Last updated on November 20th, 2015

In Buddhism we are constantly reminded about the law of cause and effect. In fact, if there is one short saying that stands out above others, it is this:

“Buddhism is Action!”

Now compare the recent statements on plastic bag reduction to reality.

One article says that France will ban the bags completely by 2010. Anyone who has visited France over the last five years will note that French supermarkets stopped issuing free bags ages ago! So the French are ahead of the game. It’s just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

In the UK, plastic bags are everywhere. Apart from being wasteful and unsightly, there’s a lot of evidence that the recent floods owe some of their severity from the ease with which drains and sewers can be blocked by a few flimsy plastic bags and a few twigs.

China is the great factory for the world. While the rest of the world struggled, China just got on and made stuff and did stuff. The result is lots of pollution. Basically, it’s exported pollution from all the global companies that moved their production to China over the last few decades. In other words – it’s our pollution, but in China!

China has noticed this and it also noticed the flooding, primarily in Hong Kong, being caused by plastic bags. It has finally reacted. When it does react, it really is pure action – no ifs and buts, no debate – just do it! We want a dam – just make it!

Here we see that 20, 000+ people have instantly lost their jobs making plastic bags because the Chinese have banned their use. Note: NOT because the west has stopped using the bags; but because China has.

So the reality is that the western governments, like Brown’s UK one, who are threatening to ban plastic bags or maybe actually have, are actually doing it because the factory that makes the things is closing down!

So China may not be very religious, but it has a culture, inherited over many millennia, that still produces dynamic action, when needed, and for whatever cause, good or bad. You have to admire them for that.

Buddhism is action. It’s the law of cause and effect.

  One Response to “China, Plastic Bags, The West, Cause and Effect.”

  1. Also the little birds and animals choke on them, which is horrible. they are floating on the canal waiting for swans to get caught up in them, and in the hedges for little fox cubs to breathe them in.

    In Austria they never give you a bag, no problem you get used to it within a few days. Here in Bulgaria they try to give you crap plastic bags all the time. They think it’s cool. SAY NO! Discourage the plastic bag infestation of our world!

    I am refusing plastic bags at the Buddhist shop I’m doing soon. OK I admit I always refused because I never remembered to bring any but this time it looks as if I’m organised ha ha. Oh yeah, and it saves money. Everyone is capable of bringing a bigger handbag along.

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