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Ban on free plastic bags takes effect
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"I lost 10 sales this morning just because of the 0.5 yuan fee for bags," said Xu Chengfeng, a vegetable seller at Jinxianghe market in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province.

According to the ban, those who provide shoppers with free plastic bags could be fined up to 10,000 yuan as of Sunday.

SAIC officials told Xinhua on Sunday a two-month overhaul would be launched among all plastic bag distributors and regular patrols in supermarkets and various stores would be conducted. The public was welcome to report violators to the administration to help with the monitoring efforts.

"We need more staff to monitor all market places in effort to fully implement the regulation," Li Qiang, a Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Industry and Commerce official, said.

"Limiting consumption of plastic bags is just one method to curb white pollution," said Wang Zhongwu, a Shandong University sociology professor.

The academic called on relative departments to work out other measures, including offering substitutes for plastic bags, promoting education among public and improving trash recycling systems, to facilitate the implementation of the regulation.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2008)

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