EPA to bring forward plastic bag restrictions

In total, 80,000 stores will be stopped from providing free plastic bags

(Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Environment Protection Administration (EPA) said that it will expand the categories of retailers prohibited from providing free plastic bags, starting from Jan. 1, 2018.

EPA section chief Lai Ying-ying (賴瑩瑩) said that they decided to add seven more categories to the list including drugstores, cosmetic stores, medical equipment stores, electronic stores, bookstores, stationery stores, beverage shops, and bakeries. Therefore, around 80,000 individual stores will become under the new amendment. Customers will be charged for plastic bags if they need them.

The free plastic bag reduction policy was introduced in 2002 and included government sectors, private schools, department stores, hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, and fast food chain restaurants; instead, people are encouraged to bring their own bags.

In April, the Taipei City Government decided to cut plastic bag use by 20 million in an effort to protect the environment.