City Expands Restriction on Plastic Shopping Bag
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a new round of policies restricting free shopping bags which takes effect starting January 1, 2018. The updated regulation makes it mandatory for supermarkets, convenience stores, and retailors to provide reusable shopping-turned-trash bags.Starting January 1, seven types of business will be added to the list of groups banned from offering free plastic shopping bags. These shops include pharmacies, skincare stores, medical supplies shops, camera stores, ICT equipment retailers, bookstores, stationery shops, laundry shops, tea shops, and bakeries.According to DEP, the City has been promoting reusable shopping bags since 2013 to limited effect as the measure focused on voluntary basis. To reduce plastic consumption and working in line with Environmental Protection Administration’s policies, DEP will enforce compliance with the plastic bag-reused-as-trash bag regulation through comprehensive inspections. DEP pointed out that spot-checks will target 15,000 businesses across the city. Violators will be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000 in compliance with Articles 21 and 51 under the Waste Disposal Act.
DEP urges the public to bring their own shopping bags or make use of carton boxes and rental bags available at selected wholesale markets. Purchasing the reusable plastic bag should be the last resort as the City seeks to cut down on plastic waste through source reduction.