A slew of new measures are to take effect on Friday, including nationwide bring-your-own-cup discounts.
The new rule requires chain beverage shops to offer discounts of at least NT$5 (US$0.17) to customers who bring their own cups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.
The policy would apply to more than 50,000 chain retail locations, including beverage shops, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets.
Photo: Lo Chi, Taipei Times
It aims to cut down on waste from single-use plastic cups, more than 2.2 billion of which were used in Taiwan in 2020, the agency said.
For convenience, the EPA said it has asked retailers to display signs stating how much discount they offer to customers who bring their own cups or use a reusable one provided by the store.
Ahead of the policy’s implementation, McDonald’s and KFC branches in Taiwan this month began offering NT$5 discounts for customers who order beverages using their own cups, the agency said.
Also starting on Friday, the Directorate-General of Highways is to issue a new edition of the international driving permit that highlights the word “Taiwan” on the cover.
The new cover features the word “Taiwan” directly above the title “International Driving Permit” to better distinguish Taiwanese driving permits from those issued by China, the agency said.
The international community service hotline, 0800-024-111, is to stop operating and be replaced by the number 1990.
The government-run hotline provides Chinese, English or Japanese-language assistance for foreigners on issues such as visas, employment, taxation, health insurance and transportation.
Meanwhile, the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) is to raise the highest premium band to NT$219,500. It had remained at NT$182,000 for 12 years.
The NHIA has estimated that the change would affect 137,000 people who would pay about NT$116 to NT$1,939 more monthly than they previously did.
Also starting on Friday, tenants can apply to access a NT$30 billion relief program set up by the Executive Yuan.
At least 500,000 newlyweds, families with young children and single people living alone would benefit from the housing subsidy, the Ministry of the Interior said.
Subsidies would be offered to four times more families than had been eligible for the previous program, which was capped at 12,000 families, it said.
A family can benefit from the program if the average income of its members — including those not in the workforce — is lower than 2.5 times the government’s standard amount for the cost of living, it added.
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