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Regulations ignored

PORK, fish and vegetables are still widely wrapped up in free, flimsy plastic bags at city wet markets - in sharp contrast to the positive changes at local supermarkets.

Last year's ruling banned the production and sale of bags less than 0.025 millimeters thick. However, the situation at local wet markets, traditionally a main source of flimsy bags, has hardly improved, Shanghai Daily discovered.

Vendors could not afford to obey the rule for fear of losing business, they told Shanghai Daily.

Stall holders in a wet market on Jing'an District's Kangding Road complained that charging even a few jiao (a few US cents) for each bag would increase the total cost of their produce by too much for many customers.

Dong Guangliang, a manager at the market that has about 70 stalls, told Shanghai Daily more than 30 percent of the vendors still offer banned flimsy bags to customers.

At a wet market on nearby Yuyao Road the situation is the same.

"I buy the thin plastic bags from a seller who comes to the market every day," said a vendor. "And I didn't know they were banned."

Flimsy bags are commonly used at this market, suggesting the absence of any policing.

Vendors can be fined 300 yuan (US$44) to 500 yuan if they are caught providing flimsy bags. But the Yuyao Road vendors said they had never heard of such fines or seen their implementation.


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