Taipei, Starting July 1, singleuse plastic straws will no longer be available to people eating at a wide range of venues in Taiwan, as part of a government effort to limit ocean pollution, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Wednesday.
The ban on singleuse plastic straws will take effect at government agencies, public and private schools, department stores, shopping malls and fast food chain outlets for onsite drinking or dining, the EPA said at a press conference.
Firsttime violators will not be punished, but if they violate the regulation again after the first warning, they will be subject to a fine of between NT$1,200 (US$39) and NT$6,000, according to the EPA.
Customers who place orders for takeout or delivery, however, will still be provided with plastic straws for now, EPA said.
At the press conference, EPA Minister Chang Tzichin said Taiwanese use 3 billion plastic straws per year on average, and he hopes that the plastic straw ban, along with a prohibition on microbeads in personal care products, will help to reduce marine pollution and mitigate the harm to ocean creatures.
On July 1 last year, Taiwan banned the production and import of personal care products containing plastic microbeads.
In compliance with the EPA's plan to restrict the use of plastic straws, American fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken stopped offering plastic straws at its restaurants in Taiwan on June 11.
On April 22 Earth Day, another American fast food chain McDonald's got off the mark with a ban on plastic straws at its outlets in Taipei and said all its restaurants nationwide would comply with the ban by the end of June.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel