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Standards for plastic bags to take effect
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By Wu Nanlan

China's standardization office has issued three regulations covering plastic grocery bags. The rules will take effect on June 1.

The standards cover product standards, environmental and marking standards and testing standards, according to an April 21 release from the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).

According to the standards, the thickness of plastic bags for shoppers should be at least 0.025 mm, without bubbles or perforations or any bad smell. Plastic bags for food should be marked "for food only" and bags must carry warnings and safety instructions. Also, bags should have tips reminding 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 serial number, type and tensile strength in terms of kilograms. For example, types of plastic grocery bags can be divided into regular shopping bags, biodegradable shopping bags, and corn starch-based plastic bags, etc. Signs on the plastic bags should be easily visible.

The standards also make requirements concerning packaging, transporting and reserving of plastic bags.

(China.org.cn May 8, 2008)

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