Taiwan vows to push ahead with ban on polystyrene, plastic bagsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
Taiwan authorities insisted Sunday they would push ahead with a ban on plastic bags and polystyrene and plastic tableware despite pressure from the industry.
Hau Lung-pin, chief of the cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), called for the public to rally behind what he termed the "environmentally friendly" ban.
"The policy may bring you some inconvenience while shopping, but it would help reduce the environmental burden to the earth," Hau said at a publicity activity in Taipei.
In a symbolic move to demonstrate the EPA's determination, Hau, together with popular television star Pei Ping-ping, removed plastic bags and polystyrene cups and bowls that had overwhelmed a model of the earth.
The EPA in July introduced the landmark ban on the use of polystyrene and plastic tableware in public sector catering facilities, including canteens in government and state enterprises, military units, schools and public hospitals.
Restaurants caught violating the rules can be fined up to 300,000 Taiwan dollars (8,600 US).
Government agencies, schools and military units were also banned from using plastic bags.
The second-stage ban on the use of polystyrene and plastic products will be imposed on all privately-run restaurants and shops including department stores, supermarkets and fast-food outlets on January 1.
However the ban has sparked a backlash from the industry, with many people claiming the move threatened their jobs.
Statistics from the Taiwan Plastic Industry Association indicate that three large-scale plastic factories and 10 distributors have been shut down since the first-stage ban was imposed in July, leaving over 1,000 workers jobless.
-- Anonymous, December 29, 2002