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4 convenience stores to stop giving disposal chopsticks unless asked

Starting July, four major convenience store chains in Taiwan will stop giving away disposal chopsticks randomly.It is estimated  that the new approach...

Starting July, four major convenience store chains in Taiwan will stop giving away disposal chopsticks randomly.It is estimated that the new approach...

Starting July, four major convenience store chains in Taiwan will stop giving away disposal chopsticks randomly, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Tuesday.
Ho Shun-chin, director of the EPA's Department of Waste Management, said that 7-ELEVEN, FamilyMart, Hi-Life and Ok Stores will soon post signs informing patrons that they will not take the initiative in giving customers disposable chopsticks.
But if the patrons ask for them, then the stores will give the utensils to customers who purchase food for free as they have done in the past, Ho said.
It is estimated that the new approach will reduce the use of chopsticks by 36 million pairs, or 300 tons of chopsticks in six months. Ho said that translates to preventing the logging of 10,000 20-year-old trees and the emission of 2.8 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.
She noted that Taiwanese people use 5 billion pairs of disposal chopsticks, or 38,000 tons, a year in Taiwan.
Although the number of chopsticks saved by the four convenience chain stores in six months will account for only a fraction of the total, Ho said, "it still sets an exemplary example."
She said that according to an online survey conducted by the Consumers' Foundation last month, only 9.6 percent of Taiwanese people polled said that they do not carry reusable chopsticks with them, while 80 percent said that they have between one to three pairs of reusable chopsticks.
According to a survey conducted by the EPA in November 2006, nearly 20 percent of the people surveyed said they always bring their own dining utensils when they eat out, showing that the public has formed the habit of not wasting disposable utensils.
Ho said that her department is also coordinating with the four convenience stores to take the initiative to reduce the use of disposable cups, soft drink cups or to provide discounts to patrons who carry their own cups.
In response, the chain stores said that they will study the EPA's view and will make plans for such a program in the future.
Ho said that in view of the public's habit of usually buy soft drinks on the spur, not yet developing the custom of carrying their own cups, the EPA has therefore not set a timetable for phasing out disposable cups.


Updated : 2021-03-08 10:00 GMT+08:00