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July 24, 2012

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Wasteful packaging to be limited by city

COMPANIES in Shanghai will need to stop selling goods deemed over-packaged according to legal standards being planned that would fine violators up to 100,000 yuan (US$15,656).

The city will introduce a package of technical standards to restrict over-packaging with the help of the new law.

The law has been drafted and aims to cut down on unnecessary use of resources and reduce the city's daily waste output, according to Shanghai People's Congress, the legislative body.

"The technical standards will include the number of layers of packaging papers, the allowed ratio of empty space inside the whole box of goods as well as the maximum percentage of the packaging cost to the goods' value," said Gan Zhongze, a lawmaker on the measure's drafting panel.

The country's current legal standards to restrict over-packaging only cover two commodities: mooncakes and cosmetics. But no punishment is mandated.

The draft local regulation was being discussed yesterday by the local legislative body.

When it's passed, Shanghai will become the first city in the Chinese mainland to drive home the seriousness of over-packaging violations by using monetary penalties.

The draft has won unanimous support from lawmakers.

"Extremely oversized and complicated packages are widely used by health care products," said legislator Shi Lei yesterday during the discussion.

"When you open the box, you will find only a small bottle carrying a tiny amount of so-called health food inside," Shi said.

The draft says local sellers should obey the existing national rules on packaging for cosmetics and mooncakes as well as the future local standards.

The local standards, to cover a variety of goods, will be stipulated by the local quality and technical supervision bureau, lawmakers said.

Local sellers are obliged to order goods based on the packaging standards when ordering from manufacturers.

The law also entitles sellers to reject shipments that fail to comply with the packaging rules, according to the draft.

Sellers who refuse to take over-packaged commodities off shelves would face a penalty of up to 100,000 yuan.


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