Taipei-Two restaurants in New Taipei were fined Wednesday for using disposable tableware, on the first day of the new regulations against that practice, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said.
The new rules, which pertain to dine-in service at restaurants in shopping malls, were announced last August and took effect at the start of the new year.
In a statement, the EPA said it carried out an inspection Wednesday of more than 100 businesses nationwide and issued fines against two restaurants in New Taipei that were found to be in violation of the new regulations, which prohibit the use of disposable tableware for diners at shopping mall food courts.
One of the restaurants was in Mitsui Outlet Park in the city's Linkou District, and other in St. Ignatius Plaza in Luzhou District, the EPA said, but it did not disclose how much they had been fined.
Under Taiwan's Waste Disposal Act, the fines range from NT$1,200 (US$40.1) to NT$6,000 in the first instance and may be increased incrementally if the issue is not resolved within 30 days.
The new regulations are being implemented in phases, based on feedback the EPA receives in each locality and on how much time restaurants need to become complaint.
In the first phase, the regulations were applied to shopping malls and department stores in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung and Tainan, as well as Penghu, Yilan and Hualien counties.
According to the EPA, the ban is scheduled to be introduced in Kaohsiung on March 1, Hsinchu City on May 1, and Keelung City on July 1.
On May 1, the regulations will be extended to include restaurants in most hypermarkets throughout the country, the EPA said.
The new regulations are part of a broader effort by the EPA to cut down on plastic waste by phasing out the use of plastic straws, shopping bags, and disposable tableware by 2025, and banning all single use items by 2030.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel