'Using banknotes as an example [of behaviour that damages the environment], most people prefer to give away new notes to friends and relatives, but they've never thought about the amount of paper, energy and print ink that goes into the production of those notes' - Green Power's Cheng Luk-ki 'Although the government has always encouraged producers to recycle wrapping paper, it won't really be effective until the authorities come up with a law forcing manufacturers and packaging designers to consider the recycling issue' - spokesman for Friends of the Earth 'Degradable plastic shopping bags still have significant environmental impacts upon disposal. When they disintegrate, they could release gases and contaminate water, or produce leachate' - spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department 'I think we need to both encourage the use of biodegradable plastic bags and long-life plastic bags that last two to five years.' - Yung Kam-chuen, associate professor, department of industrial systems and engineering, Polytechnic University Web links www.foe.org.hk - green group Friends of the Earth www.reusablebags.com/facts.php?id=9 - plastic bag facts from around the world Discussion point How many plastic bags do you accept from shops each week? Enquiry How could you reduce the number of plastic bags your family uses? How long does it take for a plastic bag to degrade? Are degradable plastic bags expensive to produce?