Taipei supermarkets will be banned from providing single-use tableware to customers starting on 1st May in an effort to reduce waste, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on 16th April.
Retailers to be affected include Costco, RT-Mart, A.mart, Carrefour, Ikea, and B&Q. Similar measures implemented at the beginning of the year targeted 55 department stores and shopping malls in the capital.
Disposable items listed in the ban are cups, bowls, plates, boxes, chopsticks, spoons, knives, forks, and stirrers. The businesses are also prohibited from covering non-disposable tableware with plastic bags, said the DEP.
Violators will be subject to a fine of between NT$1,200 (US$40) and NT$6,000 (US$200) in compliance with the Waste Disposal Act. In light of hygiene concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are allowed to apply for an exemption.
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At least 11 cities in Taiwan have already complied with the regulation, which the Taiwanese government announced last August to crack down on one-time use tableware, but businesses can be exempt from the rule in water shortages and Covid-19. Environmental groups have criticized this exception as lax, saying disposable items do not guarantee a reduced risk of infection, wrote UDN.
(Source: Taiwan News)