Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 4 News List

EPA restrictions on plastic drinking straws to begin

OCEAN CONCERN:EPA Minister Chang Tzi-chin said that Taiwan uses 3 billion plastic straws per year, so hopefully the rules would help reduce marine pollution

Staff writer, with CNA

Reusable straws and brushes to clean them are displayed at a news conference at the Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei on Wednesday.

Photo: Liu Li-ren, Taipei Times

Single-use plastic straws will no longer be available at a wide range of venues in Taiwan from Monday as part of a government effort to limit ocean pollution, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said on Wednesday.

The ban is to take effect at government agencies, public and private schools, department stores and shopping malls, as well as for onsite use at chain fast-food stores, the EPA told a news conference.

First-time violators will not be punished, but if they breach the regulations again, they would face a fine of NT$1,200 to NT$6,000, the EPA said.

Take-out and delivery orders can still include plastic straws, it said.

People in Taiwan use 3 billion plastic straws per year on average, so hopefully the regulations, along with a prohibition on microbeads in personal care products, would help reduce marine pollution and mitigate the harm to ocean creatures, EPA Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) said.

On July 1 last year, Taiwan banned the production and import of personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

Fast-food chain KFC stopped offering plastic straws at its restaurants in Taiwan on June 11, while McDonald’s banned plastic straws at its outlets in Taipei on April 22 and said that its restaurants nationwide would follow suit by the end of this month.

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