The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Thursday that it will launch a campaign to encourage people to flush used toilet paper, instead of depositing it in trash cans as is the custom in Taiwan, as part of an effort to improve bathroom hygiene.
EPA head Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said his agency will come up with a campaign to encourage the flushing of toilet paper in three months.
His remarks were made in response to lawmakers' questions during a hearing at the Legislature's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee.
Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) of the opposition Kuomintang noted that Taiwan and China are among the few areas in the world where toilet paper cannot be flushed, which she described as an indicator of being less developed.
She said putting used toilet paper in trash cans can produce an unpleasant environment for bathroom users and expressed the hope the EPA would work to change the current practice.
In response, Lee said his agency is working in that direction.
Lee noted that in the past, people were asked to throw used toilet paper into a trash can because at the time it was made from materials that did not degrade in water.
However, he added that it should now be possible for toilet paper manufacturers to produce paper that degrades in water.
Although depositing used toilet paper in a trash can is a common practice in Taiwan, at places such as High Speed Rail stations, passengers are asked to flush toilet paper, though feminine sanitary products are still thrown in trash cans.