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Draft standards issued on plastic bags
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China's standardization office has issued draft regulations covering plastic shopping bags, soliciting public opinions on the subject.

Plastic bags will cost shoppers money as of June 1, and the bags will be subject to stricter production standards as well, the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) said in a release.

Under the draft standards, published on the central government's web site (www.gov.cn) recently, the thickness of plastic bags for shoppers should be at least 0.025 mm, without bubbles or perforation.

Also, plastic bags for food should be marked "for food only" and bags must carry warnings such as "keep away from infants and children to avoid suffocation."

Also, bags should have tips to remind consumers to re-use them for the sake of environmental protection and energy conservation.

Manufacturers must also clearly mark the producer's name and the bag's accurate strength in terms of kilograms.

Supermarkets giving free bags will face a maximum penalty of 30,000 yuan (4,000 U.S. dollars), under a related regulation from the Ministry of Commerce.

Citizens who want to comment on the standards can visit the SAC's site (www.sac.gov.cn), download feedback forms and submit them before the deadline, which is March 4.

(Xinhua News Agency February 8, 2008)

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