Mon, Jul 18, 2016 - Page 3 News List

EPA says it is trying to reduce use of plastic bags

Staff writer, with CNA

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday said that it is encouraging consumers to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by using reusable shopping bags and recycling the plastic bags they already have.

The comment came in response to an Internet campaign launched by Piotr Kurczewski, a Polish graduate student at National Chengchi University, called “Free Taiwan from Free Plastic Bags.”

The government in 2002 launched a drive to reduce the number of single-use plastic bags in circulation by prohibiting stores, restaurants and other places from providing free plastic shopping bags and requiring that they do provide or sell be at least 0.06mm thick.

The restrictions apply to government agencies, schools, convenience stores, fast-food chains, department stores, supermarkets, malls, hypermarkets and restaurants.

The number of plastic bags provided by stores and other outlets been reduced from 3.435 billion bags a year to 1.43 billion bags a year, and more than 70 percent of consumers have reduced their use of plastic bags, the EPA said.

The agency said it is still researching whether to introduce a standard charge for plastic bags or expand the scope of the ban on free plastic bags to cover more retailers.

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