This morning I had a typed conversation across the internet with my brother in China. As he teaches at a University in Eastern China, I asked about the Chinese perception of the western appetite for green thinking and environmental concern. He pointed to the recent news that the Chinese government is planning a ban on plastic bags from this June, a move that comes amid growing concern about pollution in China. He also pointed out that in 1999, the Chinese declared that the production and use of disposable Styrofoam tableware would no longer be tolerated. Calls for an end to the building of ‘The Great Wall of Styrofoam’, as he called it, apparently fell on deaf ears though, as the China Daily pointed out in January last year that up to 70 per cent of the nearly 12 billion disposable snack boxes of various kinds are still made of Styrofoam. The banning of plastic bags has recently been championed by a local organisation in Lyme Regis. See more on the website (www.turnlymegreen.co.uk). They also highlight a UK company that both manufactures and imports a range of biodegradable tableware, cutlery and take-away boxes. The company, Vegware (www.vegware.co.uk) supplies take-away boxes made from bagasse, a waste fibre made from pressing sugar cane. They say it is fully biodegradable and the good news for those Chinese authorities seeking a solution to their styrofoam problem is that it’s imported from China!