China amends law to battle excessive packaging

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 1, 2012
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Following a vote by lawmakers Wednesday, China's legislature approved the amended version of the Law on the Promotion of Clean Production, which stresses efforts to cut down on excessive packaging.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) upon the conclusion of a three-day bimonthly session adopted the amended law after further review by lawmakers to the draft first tabled October last year.

President Hu Jintao has issued an order to publicize the amended law, which will take effect on July 1.

The amended law stipulates that enterprises should package their products in a manner that "well fits the content's quality, size and cost and makes less packaging waste."

During the design process of products and packages, enterprises should take into account what influence they will exert upon human health and environment and give preferred consideration to plans that use packaging in a non-poisonous, harmless, degradable and recyclable way, according to the amended law.

China has seen public outcries over excessive packaging, which not only causes unnecessary waste of resources and environmental pollution but also pushes product prices up, said Wang Guangtao, a legislator.

Excessive packaging fosters extravagance and corruption, he said.

Compulsory review measures 

The previous law did not clarify the duty of government organs in conducting compulsory review over clean production-oriented measures implemented by enterprises, according to Wang.

The amended version tightens the system of reviewing corporate steps pertaining to clean production by government organs, an effort to make enterprises more responsible.

The amended law stipulates that enterprises whose pollutant emissions exceed limits set by national or local rules, whose energy consumption per unit product is too high, or whose production or emission process involves poisonous or harmful materials, will be applicable to compulsory review by authorities.

In addition to clarifying government organs' supervision responsibilities, the amended law clearly demands that concerned enterprises should report their clean production measures and results to local government and also make the measures and results public through local media.

The central government will also set up a special fund to support clean production-oriented technological improvement in key sectors and projects, according to the amended law.

Wang believes that if implemented well, the amended law will greatly boost the country's industrial upgrading and restructuring drive.

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