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Taiwan Officially Bans Use of Plastic Items in Restaurants, Shops

Starting next year, in Taiwan, food and beverage outlets will be banned from providing plastic straws to customers for in-store use.

According to a recent announcement from the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), all plastic items such as bags, straws, and disposable utensils will be banned by 2030, Hong Kong Free Press reports.

The regulations will be implemented in several phases, the first of which imposes a ban on in-store plastic straw use at major restaurant chains in 2019. In 2020, this requirement will be extended to all dining outlets.

By 2025, consumers will be charged an additional fee for takeaway straws, plastic bags, disposable utensils, and beverage cups, followed by a blanket ban on all plastic items in 2030.

After Taiwan started a recycling program and introduced charges for plastic bags, the ban is the country’s latest effort against pollution. According to Lai Ying-ying – the EPA's program supervisor – the goal is to reduce the average number of plastic bags used per person from 700 annually to 100 in 2025, and zero by 2030.   

Speaking on the matter, minister Lee Ying-yuan said: “You can use steel products, or edible straws – or maybe you just don’t need to use straws at all... There is no inconvenience caused at all."

The Taiwan government’s efforts against plastic use dates back to 2002 when it imposed a ban on the distribution of plastic in government facilities, state-owned companies, and public organizations.

[Photo via NOAA]

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