A new year, a new policy: No more free bags at teashops from Jan. 1

The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — After Jan. 1, 2018, you’ll no longer be getting a plastic bag for your bubble tea at the beverage shop.

The Executive Yuan said yesterday that beverage shops, bookstores, pharmacies and four other types of businesses will no longer hand out plastic bags with every purchase, starting New Year’ s Day.

The policy is expected to save at least 15 million plastic bags, the government said.

The Environmental Protection Administration has been promoting the prudent use of plastic shopping bags since 2002.

Restrictions have already been placed on plastic bag distribution in private schools, government organizations, department stores, retail stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and fast-food restaurants, helping them cut back on 20 million bags each year, the environmental authority said.

From Jan. 1, the restrictions will be extended to drugstores, medical equipment stores, bookstores, electronic devices stores, bookstores, laundries, and bakeries, with an expected result of 15 million fewer bags a year.

In addition, the government will regulate the use of microplastics used to make cleansers and body wash, in order to reduce their harm to the ocean.

The China Post intern Zoe Chen contributed to this report.