TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taipei City Government announced Thursday (April 2) that individuals who report mask littering to the authorities would receive compensation while the people responsible for the offense would be fined NT$3,600-6,000 (US$120-200).
As face masks have become daily necessities due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, more cases of mask littering have also been seen across the country. Many individuals have continued to ignore the government's constant reminders and dispose of their masks improperly, according to UDN.
To discourage such behavior, the Cabinet's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Sunday (March 29) announced that individuals who caught discarding their face masks on the streets would be subject to an NT$1,200-6,000 fine. However, following further discussion amongst EPA officials, the minimum fine for mask littering has now been raised to NT$3,600.
The Taipei City government pointed out that discarded masks are considered general waste and should be thrown away in regular garbage bins. It added that discarding face masks on public property is dangerous because there could be remnants of the virus on their surface.
The city government said it encouraged citizens to record or take photos of any mask littering acts and report them to the authorities. It added that those who did would be rewarded with 30 percent of the fines issued to the offenders, in cash, reported Liberty Times.