According to a representative from the international supermarket chain Metro, the company's two outlets in Wuhan will stop selling plastic shopping bags from 2009, making Metro the first plastic-free supermarket in the city.
Following this, customers will have to bring their own bags or buy environmentally friendly packaging such as non-woven bags or cardboard boxes from the supermarket. At present, the price of an environmentally friendly bag in Metro is CNY5. China implemented a new law in 2008 requiring retailers to stop providing free plastic bags and to instead charge fees for any plastic bags used by customers.
In the middle of December 2008, Metro opened China's first plastic-free supermarket in Wuxi, Jiangsu.
Metro was already charging for plastic bags when the just entered the Wuhan market eight years ago. when Wuhan implemented its policy to limit the use of plastic its plastic bags were the most expensive in the city.
Industry experts are reported as saying that, since Metro's major customers are group customers, it is easier for it to be plastic-free. However, most supermarkets in Wuhan target individual customers. The chance of these supermarkets following Metro's example is very low.