EPA promotes new app that helps people find public drinking fountains

08/12/2020 10:51 PM
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Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Wednesday encouraged the public to use a new app that shows the location of the nearest public drinking fountains, with the aim of reducing the use of bottled water.

The "Water refill map," or Offer Tea (奉茶) in Chinese, is available on both the iOS and Android systems and provides information on drinking fountains installed by government agencies and local businesses, the EPA said.

Currently, the app, which was launched a few months ago, shows more than 6,000 drinking fountains throughout Taiwan, the EPA said, adding that the number will double by the end of the year.

When that happens, there will be more public drinking fountains than convenience stores throughout the country, the EPA said.

The goal is to reduce the use of bottled water in Taiwan, where consumption averages 1 billion bottles per year, EPA Deputy Minister Tsai Hung-teh (蔡鴻德) said, adding that if those plastic bottles are lined up end to end, they could circle the earth 5.7 times.

Although Taiwan does a good job of recycling, there is still a lot of plastic pollution in the environment, Tsai said.

Reducing the use of plastic bottles will help lower energy consumption and carbon emissions, he said.

Meanwhile, CircuPlus, the company that developed the app, said it has a function that allows users to report any issues with the water quality at the drinking fountains.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Chiang Yi-ching)

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