Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Taiwan plans to ban single-use plastic drinking straws in fast food chains beginning 2019, in a war on plastic waste, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said Tuesday.
The EPA and several environmental groups have laid out a slew of initiatives and measures to reduce plastic waste, Lee said.
According to the timetable, the EPA plans by 2020 to expand a restriction on providing customers with free plastic shopping bags to all retail stores that issue uniform invoices, while imposing a blanket restriction against offering plastic bags at all stores and studying the feasibility of raising the prices of plastic bags by 2025. A blanket ban on plastic shopping bags is set to be introduced in 2030, Lee said.
A restriction against providing customers with free disposable tableware and food containers for in-store dining will be expanded to cover more food stores in 2020, while a blanket restriction against offering such products will be introduced in 2025.
In addition, improved measures to encourage consumers to bring their own beverage containers by offering discounts to reduce the use of single-use beverage containers will be introduced in 2020, while a full restriction on offering consumers free single-use beverage containers will be imposed from 2025, when users will have to pay for such containers. A full ban on the use of free single-use beverage containers will be introduced in 2030.
On plastic straws, in-store single-use will not be allowed in eateries, restaurants, and food stores such as fast food chains, from 2019, while a ban on all food stores will be imposed from 2020.
In addition, a restriction against the use of single-use plastic straws will be expanded to all stores in 2025, when users will have to pay for them. A full ban will be introduced in 2030, according to Lee.
(By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao)