Taiwan to ban styrofoam cups from next July: EPA

Starting next July, local drink shops will no longer be allowed to provide single-use foam plastic cups including those made of styrofoam, as part of a government effort to limit ocean pollution, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Wednesday.

As such containers are mainly used in central and southern Taiwan, the rule also grants local governments the authority to introduce similar bans on disposable cups made from other plastic materials, based on consumer behavior in different areas, the EPA said.

Also from July 1, drink shop chains, fast food restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets will be required to provide a minimum discount of NT$5 per drink for people who bring their own cups, the EPA said.

The rule will also require convenience store chains and fast food chains to offer free reusable cups at a minimum of 5 percent of their stores from Jan. 1, 2023, while the chains' annual use of disposable cups should drop by at least 15 percent year-on-year, it said.

The EPA said those who fail to do so will have to submit improvement plans.

The disposable cups will also include paper cups, EPA officials said, adding that the plan is to achieve further decreases in annual use of single-use cups by 18 percent in 2024 and 25 percent in 2025.

Under the new rule stemming from the Waste Disposal Act, any violation of these provisions will result in a fine of between NT$1,200 (US$43) and NT$6,000, according to the EPA.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel