Taipei, The Control Yuan has censured the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) for failing to effectively carry out measures to reduce plastic waste and asked it to make improvements.
Control Yuan member Chang Wu-shou said at a press conference on Friday that the EPA was reprimanded for delaying the timetable for implementing the ban on plastic bags and not offering any adequate recycling mechanism for such bags.
The EPA will be required to propose corrective measures in writing to the Control Yuan within two months, and failure to do so will result in the official in charge being summoned for questioning, according to the Control Yuan Act.
Chang was drawn to the issue because 80 percent of the waters surrounding Taiwan have garbage drifting, with 66.3 percent of the garbage being plastic.
Although the EPA did get some initial results when it first implemented measures to limit the use of plastic products in 2002, restrictions were relaxed four years later to allow restaurants to continue using plastic bags, he said.
The production and the usage of plastic bags have been on the rise in the past decade, Chang said, leading him to conclude that there has been negligence on the EPA's part.
Plastic bags not being included among items that have to be recycled and problems arising from the efforts to recycle used fishing nets are among other causes for the failure to manage plastic waste effectively, Chang said.
In response to the Control Yuan's reprimand, Lai Ying-ying head of the EPA's Department of Waste Management, assured the Control Yuan that it will step up its efforts to reduce plastic waste.
Lai said the EPA pushed for a plastic reduction policy in 2002 and then expanded its scope in 2018, including adding a ban on using plastic granules in facial cleansers.
The additional ban aims to change consumer habits and the way manufacturers make their products to reduce the use of plastic products, she said.
The Control Yuan is one of Taiwan's branches of government in charge of overseeing the other branches of government with powers to investigate wrongdoing by public agencies, public officials and civil servants.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel