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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Lawmakers restrict wasteful packaging

By Zhao Yinan  (China Daily)

08:26, March 01, 2012

A worker organizes recycled moon cake packages at a supermarket in Jiashan, Zhejiang province, on Sept 19, a week after the Mid-Autumn Festival. (Hu Lingxiang / for China Daily)

BEIJING - Lawmakers passed an amendment to restrict excessive packaging and promote clean production on Wednesday.

The Amendment to the Law on the Promotion of Clean Production, which will take effect in July, makes companies responsible for avoiding excessive packaging and making sure that the "material, arrangement and cost" of the packaging are in line with the products.

Excessive packaging, which wastes resources and causes pollution, has been on the rise in China, and about 20 percent of trash in China is from discarded wrapping material, said Wang Guangtao, director of the National People's Congress' Environment and Resource Protection Committee.

"Excessive packaging has raised wide concerns as the products are usually high-priced, especially food, so the practice infringes upon consumers' rights," he said.

Wang said he found cookies in Denmark, for example, may not be packaged in metal containers, a stark contrast with in China, but "a good way to avoid excessive packaging".

To increase the supervision, the amendment calls for local quality watchdogs to be responsible for checking whether companies might use excessive packaging.

However, the law does not give a clear definition of what constitutes excessive packaging.

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