Taiwan says “Just say no” to plastic bags in the new year

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In Taiwan, the country’s Environmental Protection Administration expanded the plastic bag ban coming into effect on January 1st to further reduce waste. The ban expands the ban on free plastic shopping bags from seven types of retailers to 14 types of retailers. It also includes a ban on biodegradable plastic bags, though the ban does not include some bags without handles, such as produce and meat bags. Medical plastic bags are not included in the ban. The expanded ban means free plastic shopping bags will go from not being offered at about 20,000 outlets across Taiwan to not being offered at another 80,000 stores.

Penalties abound for any business that doesn’t comply. A first offense includes just a warning but subsequent offenses lead to fines ranging from NT$1,200-$6,000 (US$41-$204). Fines for businesses that still sell plastic microbeads in cosmetics are much higher at NT$60,000-NT$300,000 (US$2,000-$10,000).

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