On June 1st, China imposed a national ban on ultra-thin plastic bags, the kind we all get — or have — at supermarkets, drug stores and even, sometimes, at fruit or vegetable stands. From yesterday, shoppers in China will have to bring their own bag or, if they want a plastic bag, slightly thicker varieties will be available, for a fee. Men Xiaowei from China’s Ministry of Commerce said in an on-line interview with China Daily that the plastic bag ban was “a ‘habit revolution’. To limit the use of plastic bags is to protect our environment.” According to China Daily, an astonishing 1,300 tons of oil had been used in China every day to produce plastic shopping bags just for supermarkets. (I wonder if Wal-Mart, an increasing large player in China’s retail landscape, is included in that total. Probably not.) Another eye-popping number: China used three billion plastic bags a day, more than two per person. A Reuters report on Sunday indicated some hiccups with the ban, although nothing very surprising: one shopper thought the ban was coming into effect in a month or so, while a steamed bun seller was still using the thin plastic bags in violation of the new law. He said he’d continue until his supply was exhausted…and then begin charging customers about 3 cents for a thicker plastic bag — if they don’t change their habits and bring their own.