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Plastic bags to cost 0.1 to 0.5 yuan at supermarkets
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Customers in Shanghai may have to pay 0.1 yuan to 0.5 yuan (7.14 US cents) for a new type of plastic bag when they shop at supermarkets as a nationwide ban on free plastic bags is due to take effect on June 1, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The new bags will be thicker and more durable than previous ones, Shanghai Morning Post said.

Each new bag costs 0.1 yuan to 0.3 yuan according to the size, the report said, citing a manufacturer. Most supermarkets will sell the bags at cost because high prices may affect business, the report said.

The country's Ministry of Commerce has ordered all supermarkets to sell the plastic bags above the cost price.

Hualian Supermarket will sell three sizes of plastic bags at the price of 0.1 yuan, 0.2 yuan and 0.3 yuan from June 1, the supermarket has said in notices at its outlets.

The Korean supermarket chain E-MART will set each bag at 0.3 yuan in line with the cost, the report said, citing a supermarket official.

The Lotus chain may sell the plastic bag for 0.2 yuan, an official with the supermarket has said.

All supermarkets will issue notices about bag prices later this month, the report said.

Some supermarkets have also begun to encourage customers to use other substitutes, the report said.

All three Wal-Mart braches in Shanghai will begin to lend baskets and shopping carts to customers from next month. Customers can take a basket or cart home as long as they pay a refundable deposit, the report added.

In Carrefour, customers can get free knitted bags after spending a certain amount of money.

C-Store, a convenient store chain, has begun to offer discounts to those who bring non-plastic bags, the report said.

It was announced in January that the country would ban the production of ultra-thin bags and forbid supermarkets and shops from handing out free bags effective June 1.

(Shanghai Daily May 9, 2008)

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