China urges public to walk, ride bikes to help cut smog

BEIJING Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:33am EDT

Commuters wearing masks make their way amid thick haze in the morning in Beijing February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Commuters wearing masks make their way amid thick haze in the morning in Beijing February 26, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China has issued a "behavioural standards" guide to combat pollution and reduce environmental damage, urging people to do everything from walking and riding bicycles to buying goods with less packaging.

The Chinese government has identified public participation as a key element in its efforts to reverse some of the environmental damage done by more than three decades of breakneck economic growth.

The list of eight standards, published on the environment ministry's website (www.mep.gov.cn) on Wednesday, urged citizens to refrain from burning garbage, and limit the use of fireworks and barbecues.

It also urged the public to take responsibility for pollution by reporting illegal behaviour to the authorities.

Amendments to the country's Environmental Protection Law, passed on April, made it an obligation for all Chinese citizens to protect the environment.

A local government study showed in April that 31 percent of the smog in China's capital Beijing is derived from vehicles, 22.4 percent from coal burning and 18.1 percent from industry.

Beijing's environmental bureau said 14.1 percent was made up of other smaller sources like food preparation, livestock rearing and vehicle repairs.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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