The policy will be implemented in line with the Environmental Protection Administration’s amendment for a regulation restricting the use of plastic shopping bags taking effect on March 31, 2016.
According to DEP, consumers will be able to purchase shopping bags that can be reused as government-approved trash bags for disposing of household waste once the new law takes effect.
DEP noted that the city government has promoted the policy since 2013, helping to reduce the consumption of plastic bags by 3.28 million to date. However, the amount is far from ideal: supermarkets, convenience stores, and retailers in Taipei account for the use of 25 million plastic bags a year.
On March 22, an information session has been organized to educate stores and businesses on the new policy. DEP pointed out that the new plastic bag-reused-as-trash bag will have a new design, hoping to rid the stereotypical “trash container” image. Businesses are offered two options: either selling bags authorized by DEP or manufacturing bags themselves which meet government standards and carries an authentication label.
The new measure is expected to bring a positive effect on plastic reduction, cutting the number of plastic bags by 20 million per year— the combined height exceeding 5 Taipei 101 skyscrapers.