Taipei is to ban free, disposable chopsticks from 24-hour shops and supermarkets, an official said yesterday.
The Taipei City Government said that starting later this month, several 24-hour convenience shop and supermarket chains will stop giving away disposable chopsticks with packed food, lunch boxes and instant noodles. It hasn’t decided on the exact date yet when the measure will take effect.
Participants in the campaign are 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Circle K and Hi-Life 24-hour shop chains as well as supermarket chains Wellcome, Matsusei and Pxmart.
“These shops and supermarkets are taking the lead. We hope other shops, restaurants and roadside food stalls can follow suit and stop using disposable chopsticks,” said Su Fen-hui, from the city government’s environmental protection bureau.
According to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Taiwan residents use 5 to 6 billion pairs of disposable wooden or bamboo chopsticks every year, creating five tonnes of garbage.
EPA has urged shops and supermarkets to stop giving away disposable chopsticks and called on restaurants to stop using them. People are also urged to carry “environmentally friendly” foldable chopsticks as they can be re-used.
Meanwhile, in other news, the Executive Yuan released yesterday its Taiwan sustainable development indicators compiled by the National Council for Sustainable Development Network. which showed that Taiwan’s living environment degenerated last year, despite improvements in many sectors, including reservoir quality and waste recycling.
Compared with the similar indicators applied to illustrate the country’s environmental sustainability in 2006, the report indicates that 15 of 41 indicators moved away from sustainability this year.
They include the carbon dioxide emission amount, water resources, garbage output per capita, the volume of public pollution petitions under government management and the pesticide consumption percentage of agricultural output in a year.
Other indicators, such as the death rate from cancer, the percentage of the central government’s general budget for environmental protection and biological preservation, as well as urban electricity consumption per capita, also show an increasing distance from the goal of sustainable development, the report said.
As improvements in environmental pollution control were offset by more serious ecological degradation, the report concluded that Taiwan had moved away from sustainable development.
The indicators were first produced in 2003 to serve as reference for environmental sustainability and seek improvement to the environment.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The Taipei City Government yesterday said that construction on the long-suspended Taipei Dome can resume immediately, after it approved a request by the project’s main contractor, Farglory Group. In a statement, the Taipei Construction Management Office said that after it on July 16 issued a new building permit, Farglory submitted revised design plans and an application to resume construction, which the office approved on Friday. Construction had been suspended on the dome, near the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Xinyi District (信義), for more than five years due to disagreements between the city and the company over the safety of some of