According to the smh.com.au article Plastic bags join the endangered list, Australia uses 4 billion plastic bags a year and China uses as many bags in 48 hours.
Levy or ban? I think just ban them.
Since 2005, we have been using shopping bags that we can use and shove in the washing machine, and re-use. Yes, the conference bags that we got at Linux.conf.au 2005 are the most used and long lasting than any bags that we have obtained at conference.
Note: The article states “The energy consumed in the life cycle of a plastic bag is estimated to be equivalent to 13.8 millilitres of crude oil, or about a teaspoonful.” I think this must be a typo. I’ve always thought that a teaspoon is equivalent to approximately 5 ml, and a tablespoon to 15 ml.