Food vendors offering on-site dining in Taiwan will have to set up facilities to recycle used paper tableware, promote the measure to customers and hand over the collected items to recyclers starting Friday, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said in a statement.
A new regulation announced in June by the EPA, which takes effect on Friday, requires vendors providing food for customers on site, using paper tableware, to set aside an area with clear signage and marked with Taiwan's logo for recyclable items for customers to place their used paper trays, plates, bowls and other items, according to the statement.
The vendors should also use audio or visual tools to remind patrons of their businesses to remove the food waste from the paper tableware before they put them in the recycling area, the EPA said.
While some customers have a habit of clearing away food scraps from their trays, plates and bowls, some do not, but either way, the tableware are all dumped by some vendors as trash.
Single-use tableware is widely used in Taiwan, especially in self-service restaurants, but the EPA did not give an estimate on how much waste is generated from such businesses.
It estimates that more than 7,600 food vendors will fall under the new guidelines, but street hawkers and businesses that only use paper tableware for takeout or deliveries are exempt from the regulation.
Violators may face a fine of NT$60,000 (US$2,156) to NT$300,000 under the Waste Disposal Act, according to the EPA.
Meanwhile, it said in a separate statement that it plans to eventually ban single-use tableware and cutlery, as well as bottled water in meetings and events held by central and local governments or in government facilities, as well as on school campuses by the end of 2022.
The ban is planned as a next step in the EPA's project to reduce single-use items and bottled water. Some shops and cafeterias in government buildings and schools have already stopped offering single-use tableware and plastic bags, the EPA noted.
The project was started to set an example of more environmentally friendly practices in the public sector, to encourage the private sector to adopt similar measures, the EPA said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel