China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce has issued a circular in which it says that, before May 1 2009, it will conduct a special check on the sale and use of plastic bags in retailing sites.
In the circular, SAIC says that there are still some weak areas in the plastic ban, for example some agricultural trade markets and outlets in rural areas are still providing free plastic bags to consumers.
SAIC asks its affiliates at various levels to take effective measures to enforce the plastic bag rules and guide consumers on such concepts as energy conservation, emission controls, and green consumption; and direct the market to sell environmentally-friendly bags by arranging a counter for plastic bag outsourcing and selling inside the market.
SAIC stresses that the special checks will focus on supermarkets, commodity exchange markets and trade markets and the check will mainly be done on the qualification of the companies providing plastic bags, companies that provide or sell plastic bags that do not conform to the national standard, the purchase of plastic bags from illegal manufacturers, whole-sellers or importers, retailers not entering the quantity and price of plastic bags on consumer's bill and other irregularities related to selling plastic bags.
SAIC also requests that the plastic ban to be furthered by focusing the check on rural markets.