People who throw away their masks in public areas can be fined up to NT$6,000, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said.
Masks fall under the category of general waste and should be disposed of in regular garbage bins, the ministry said.
However, those who discard their masks on the street can be fined NT$1,200 to NT$6,000 under the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法), it said.
Photo: Lo Chi, Taipei Times
Local governments have reported an increase in the number of discarded masks since the COVID-19 outbreak began, as the use of masks has skyrocketed.
In Pingtung County a group of volunteers within an hour picked up more than 500 masks left lying on the streets near a hospital two weeks ago, the county’s Environmental Protection Bureau said.
Only four masks were found in the garbage bins that the hospital had set up, the bureau said.
The bureau said that it would step up enforcement of the act.
It has also sent out volunteers to public transit stations and hospitals to spread the message that “littering masks is scarier than not wearing one,” it said.
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