Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) yesterday said he will instruct local cleaning squads to accept and recycle oil bottles that still contain oil.
The recent adulterated oil scandals involving Flavor Full Food, which blended cottonseed oil into 24 of its products and flavoring agents to one of its peanut oil products, and Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co, which blended refined cottonseed oil with its Tatung-brand edible oil products, have caused many people to worry about the quality of oil products.
At a meeting of the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said the public has questions about how to deal with problematic oil products, so his office made calls to several local cleaning squads to make enquiries.
However, it received a few different answers, Chao said.
“Up until Wednesday last week, 186,000 tonnes of Tatung-brand edible oil products have been recalled or returned to the company, but this does not include the products from Flavor Full,” he said. “So, our office did a random survey to ask how individuals can dispose of their oil products.”
He said the answers they received included “make an appointment with the squad, and it will send someone to retrieve it,” “bring the product to the agency for recycling,” “the agency only recycles the container” and “flush the oil down the toilet, or use a plastic bag to hold the oil, because the squad only recycles the container.”
Chao said the differing answers could cause confusion and urged the EPA to set up guidelines for the disposal of oil products.
There are biomass energy plants that can recycle the oil, and it can be used in other industries, such as to make soap or detergents, Shen said, adding that oil products should not be flushed down the toilet.