updated 1/22/2007 11:01:41 PM ET 2007-01-23T04:01:41

Taxi drivers in China’s financial capital of Shanghai are to be issued with “spit sacks” to curb their habit of rolling down their windows and hawking into the road, state media reported on Tuesday.

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Phlegmatic cabbies will soon have a sack fixed to the metal grill that surrounds the driver’s seat, so that both they and their passengers can make use of it.

The special sacks will be distributed to 45,000 taxis by the Shanghai Patriotic Sanitation Committee to curb spitting in public places, a habit Chinese authorities have long been trying to discourage.

“The ’no spitting’ regulation came after Shanghai decided to make people give up the ugly and unhygienic habit and present a healthy city for the 2010 World Expo,” the China Daily said.

The spit sack follows an earlier innovation in Shanghai’s public hygiene, after the city attached spittoons to garbage cans on sidewalks, the newspaper reported.

The spittoons, however, were not a success. Residents mistook them for ashtrays.

Organizers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, worried about the reaction of visitors, have repeatedly said the capital needs to teach its people to stand in line, stop spitting and littering and generally be better mannered.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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