70% Customers Not Buying Plastic Bags since Taiwan Tightened Ban | 環境資訊中心
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70% Customers Not Buying Plastic Bags since Taiwan Tightened Ban

By Logan Lai, Staff Reporter

Taipei, Taiwan, July 26, 2018 (TEIA)– Starting Jan 1st, 2018, seven more types of businesses, such as beverage stores, bakeries, pharmacies, and bookstores, plus 80,000 regulated subjects, were added to Taiwan’s plastic ban policy. These vendors can no longer provide plastic bags for free. According to the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (Taiwan EPA), 60 warning tickets were given out after 600,000 inspection visits between January to April. Vendors' statistics estimate that 70% of customers choose not to buy a plastic bag.

Many shops are no longer allowed to provide free plastic bags. Photo Credit: 賴鵬智(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The tightened plastic ban covers seven new businesses and 80,000 regulated subjects, including cosmetics stores and pharmacies, medical supply stores, electronic device and components retailers, bookstores, cleaners, beverage shops, and bakeries. Violator of the ban will be fined NT$6,000 (approx. US$200).

According to the Taiwan EPA, 60 warning tickets were given out during the 600,000 inspections between January to April. Beverage shops were the main violators of the ban, receiving 39 of the warning tickets given. Bakeries had the second most violations, receiving 9, and 7 warning tickets were given to cosmetics stores and pharmacies.

The Taiwan EPA initially expected an annual reduction of 1.5 billion plastic bags in total and 870 million of which would be from beverage vendors. I-Hwai Lee (李宜樺), Senior Technical Specialist of the Taiwan EPA’s Department of Waste Management, noted that they inspected whether the vendor provided free plastic bags and recorded the number of customers and how many plastic bags were sold during an inspection visit. The data revealed that almost 70% of customers choose not to buy a plastic bag after the plastic ban was tightened, meaning this implementation is certainly reducing the use of plastic bags.

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