New regulations to curb the import of waste plastics and paper, under which violators can be fined up to NT$10 million (US$327,268), were announced yesterday by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and are to take effect on Thursday.
After China implemented a ban on foreign waste imports in January, the amount of waste plastics entering Taiwan between January and July increased by 150,000 tonnes over the same period last year, while waste paper imports grew by 190,000 tonnes, EPA data showed yesterday.
While some industries can recycle waste plastics and paper into new products, the drastic increase in imports alarmed the agency.
After proposing the new rules to curb imports on Aug. 13, the EPA last month held a public hearing on the issue, and a revised version of the rules was released yesterday.
Licensed local firms will only be allowed to import waste plastics that originate in their own overseas production processes or those that are of a single material, but not from original production processes, the agency said.
Neither form of waste plastic can be mixed with different materials or contaminated with soil, it added.
The ban on soil pollution is to prevent the entry of foreign animal and plant diseases via waste wrappers produced by the agriculture sector, a suggestion made by environmentalists during the public hearing, EPA Department of Waste Management Director-General Lai Ying-ying (賴瑩瑩) said.
The only waste paper allowed to be imported are kraft paper, corrugated paper or cardboard that is not bleached, or deinked paper, the agency said, adding that only paper makers with legal licenses can import such materials.
“Import of waste newspaper and magazines will continue to be banned because such material is available in Taiwan and opening this sector would affect the already low prices of recycled paper,” Lai said.
Importers would be required to file reports about the flow of their waste, and the EPA and Customs Administration officials are to increase inspections of waste imports at ports, she added.
Importers who contravene the new rules will have to return all their imports to the source nations and could be fined from NT$60,000 to NT$10 million in line with the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法), the EPA said.
Local importers should not take the new rules lightly, it said.
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
PRIDE AND FURY: Supporters of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party sang in Tainan, while Taiwan loyalists in Kaohsiung vowed to ‘protect Taiwan until death’ Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait. Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other. China’s national day is not officially marked in any
VOICING SUPPORT: The German ambassador to the US said that the country should not allow China to move goalposts to isolate Taiwan or break international law Relations with Germany continue to warm as German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group chairman Klaus-Peter Willsch, leading a six-person delegation, left Germany for a six-day visit to Taiwan yesterday. The visit is yet another move by Berlin this year in support of Taiwan. The German Bundestag in May unanimously passed a resolution to support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO as an observer. German Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach added his support for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Assembly this year. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock in August voiced support for Taiwan in light of Beijing’s military response to US
A scooter owner is under investigation for using a sticker bearing the words “Tainan City Government Police Bureau Patrol Vehicle” on his scooter. Tainan Police Department’s Yongkang Precinct said in a press release on Thursday that it received a report about a photograph of a food delivery scooter with the sticker being shared on social media. Police launched an investigation and spotted the electric scooter on Chungcheng Road in the city’s Yongkang District (永康). The scooter owner, surnamed Kao (高), said he had bought the sticker online and put it on his scooter because he thought it was fun and special, police