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April 25, 2012

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Lavish packaging of goods targeted

LOCAL legislators said yesterday that they were speeding up efforts to pass a law this year to impose hefty fines and other measures to curb unnecessary goods packaging and strive for a cut in the local garbage volume.

An online survey to canvass public opinion was launched yesterday. Consumers have long complained about deceptive and often lavish packaging styles, for which they must pay extra.

Commodities such as foods, cosmetics and toys are targeted for the new rules, which will limit package size and box space, legislators said. The United States watchdog punishes manufacturers for "deceptive packaging," defined by the size of the package exceeding more than 10 percent of the commodity itself. Local legislators plan to adopt similar restrictions.

All goods sold in the local market, including those produced out of town, will have to carry a tag to detail how much of the packaged good is occupied by decorative materials. Manufacturers breaking the standards will be fined heavily, legislators suggested.

The local quality authority said its inspections over the last three years showed that tea and health care foods are the most notoriously exorbitant in their decorative packages. The same problem occurs with moon cake, a seasonal food popular during the Mid-Autumn Festival. These foods are often exchanged as gifts among Chinese, and the manufacturers tend to make use of this tradition to box them in lavish styles to boost the price.


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