In an effort to reduce waste and pollution, Taichung’s tea store chains will be banned from providing styrofoam tableware and cups and using styrofoam composite material. Violators will be first issued warnings and urged to improve. Repeat offenders will be fined from NT$1,200 (US$40) to NT$6,000 the Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government announced.
The raw material for styrofoam is styrene. Alkylphenol, a plasticizer used in the manufacturing process of styrofoam can disrupt hormones in the endocrine system. Moreover, styrofoam is non-degradable and has the tendency to easily breaking apart into small pieces. It will cause even more severe pollution and could destroy landscapes. To this end, Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government has called a meeting with the related tea store chains in June and reached a consensus. A total ban on providing styrofoam tableware and cups and using styrofoam composite material will start in 2021, Director of the Environmental Protection Bureau said Acting Director-General, Chen Hung-Yi said.
There are 2,851 tea store chains in Taichung which will comply with the ban on styrofoam tableware and cups in 2021. In addition, the stores will continually offer discounts and bonuses for consumers who bring a reusable cup. Citizens should form a habit of reusing and bringing their own cutlery and cups. Meanwhile, people should reduce the use of disposable products in their daily life.