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China Wants To Curb Excessive Overpackaging

by Rudy Sanchez on 11/08/2021 | 1 Minute Read

We don't agree on much these days, but for the most part, we can all accept that overpackaging isn't exactly the greatest thing in the world.

Now, China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has outlined stricter rules to reduce the amount of waste produced by product packaging. Replacing 2009 standards, GB 23350-2021 goes into effect in 2023 after an interim adjustment period. 

Dubbed the “Requirements of Restricting Excessive Packaging, Foods, and Cosmetics,” the new law likely applies to practically every food and beauty product. The law outlines 31 categories of food and 16 for cosmetics, though they include an “other category” for each respective product class, leaving open the possibility that the new directive will get applied rather broadly.

Critical changes include a reduction in the authorized “interspace ratio,” or the proportion of total packaging unoccupied relative to the amount of actual product. Instead of defining the maximum allowed ratio by product type, the percentage of unoccupied space gets determined by weight. The “necessary spatial coefficient” is a correction value applied by product type to ensure content protection. The 2009 standards set the coefficient at 60% unoccupied space versus 40% occupied space for all categories. The new standards set coefficients that will define the allowed unoccupied space by product category. Finally, firms cannot spend more than 20% of the total retail price on the packaging under the new regulations.

The new rules will apply to all imports, as well as products produced and sold in China.

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