EPA plans to restrict use of single-use plastic straws

The straws reportedly take up to 500 years to rot

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said it will include plastic straws as part of its measure to reduce plastic use.

The EPA is calling on the public to reduce or eliminate the use of plastic straws in our daily lives, for it is the third most found plastic waste in the ocean. The EPA also planned to inhibit tea shops from giving customers plastic straws starting next year. 

According to the Liberty Times, the Taiwanese use about 3 billion straws every year. The straws reportedly take up to 500 years to rot, and they end up in the sea and landfill and contribute to the pollution problem which kills marine wildlife and leaves tones of litter on beaches.

Department of Waste Management Interim Director-General Lai Ying-ying said that the EPA will enforce the ban on plastics and microbeads starting next year, as for plastic straws, the EPA will request restaurants and tea shops to make straws available only upon request.

The public has different opinions on this issue. Some think it will be very inconvenient when buying drinks from tea shops,while others feel that it is environmental friendly and tea shops should come up with new designs of cups enabling customers to drink the beverage without using single-use plastic straws.