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Vice president Chen calls for reduced production, use of plastic

2017/11/11 19:01:34

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁)/Photo courtesy of Taitung County government

Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said Saturday that Taiwan should cut back on the amount of plastic it produces and uses, to help protect the environment.

Speaking at the opening of a national environment protection-themed contest in Taitung County, Chen said he wished to see healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyles in Taiwan, through the efforts of the public and the central and local governments.

Taiwan must take steps to improve environmental protection by reducing not just the use but also the production of plastic, he said.

For example, consumers can take their own bags when they go shopping, instead of having to use plastic bags provided by the store, he said.

Citing a United Nations report, Chen warned that if humans continue to use and discard plastic at the current rate, there will be as much plastic as fish in the ocean by 2050.

Saturday's event, dubbed unofficially as an "e-contest," was a joint effort by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Taitung County government to raise awareness of environmental protection.

Over the past few years, Taiwan has been rolling out tighter restrictions on the use of plastic bags, at both the local and central government level.

Currently, residents of Taipei and New Taipei cities are required to purchase government-issued garbage bags to dispose of their trash.

A new regulation, which will go into effect on Jan. 1 next year, will ban 80,000 stores across the country from providing customers with free plastic bags.

Also from next year, the EPA will prohibit the manufacture and importation of shampoos, shower gels, facial cleansers, soaps, scrubs and toothpastes that contain plastic particles and will ban their sale in Taiwan.

(By Lee Shien-feng and Kuan-lin Liu)
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