Use of paper cups drops steeply: environmental agency

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) As part of an eco-friendly drive initiated by the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) , public agencies and schools have cut down on the use of paper cups by over 90 percent over the past year and a half, the EPA reported Sunday.
Since July 1 2007 until the end of 2008, the number of paper cups used by government agencies and schools was 3.71 million, a steep drop of 90.19 percent from 2006 when the number was 37.82 million, EPA statistics showed.
The drive, which was launched in July 2007, resulted in a reduction of 273 metric tons of waste, calculated on an average weight of 0.008 kilograms per paper cup, EPA officials said.
EPA officials attributed the success of the initiative to regulations limiting the use of paper cups in schools and public agencies to certain occasions and setting goals for a reduction in use.
According to EPA figures, the use of sealed cups of water and the consumption of bottled water in government agencies and public schools in 2008 were down by 80.69 percent and 78.47 percent, respectively, from the 2006 levels. This is an indication that non- disposable cups are being used instead of paper cups, the agency said.
(By Flor Wang)