I-Mei CEO: Taiwan's straw ban should ‘open a window’ for bubble tea

Good policies take into account different food traditions, he said

Kao Chih-ming speaking at an event.

Kao Chih-ming speaking at an event. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Luis Ko (高志明), CEO of I-Mei Foods (義美食品) has weighed into the debate surrounding the upcoming ban on single-use plastic straws, saying the policy is in-line with international trends, but should "open a window" for bubble tea.

The announcement has caused a great deal of controversy online, with many voicing taste, hygiene and safety concerns with alternative straws, especially metal ones.

In a statement, Kao said the straw ban is in-line with global trends and the people will support it in principal. But good policies can only be successful if they are supported by the people in practice.

"Good policies should also take into account national differences and different food traditions," said Ko.

Bubble tea is a deeply loved Taiwanese drink inside and outside the island country. Ko advised not to over-consume for health's sake.

"Drinking bubble tea with a spoon, as an EPA official recently suggested, will surely lose its taste," Ko added.

Ko believes the straw ban should not be an "iron wall" and urges the government to "open a window" for bubble tea.

The Environmental Protection Administration announced on June 8 that the first stage of the single-use plastic straw ban will begin on July 1 2018, affecting dine-in customers at public sector, schools, department stores and fast food restaurants.