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index > newslette > EPA curbs plastic tableware, bans high-mercury batteries
 
* EPA curbs plastic tableware, bans high-mercury batteries 2006/9/2
 
All restaurants at government facilities and those at both public and private schools were banned from using disposable tableware, while sales of dry cell batteries containing excess mercury were prohibited, starting yesterday. 
 
The Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) enforced the two new measures as part of the government's efforts to prevent the environment in Taiwan from getting worse. 
 
Restaurants at governmnent agencies and schools can no longer provide disposable tableware of any kind. 
 
For takeout customers, disposable tableware must not be made of plastic. 
 
Government-run hospitals and convenience stores, as well as fastfood restaurants and ordinary restaurants with seats, are not allowed to provide one-time-use tableware made of plastic materials to customers. 
 
Department stores, shoppping centers, discount wholesale stores, supermarkets and military supply centers are also subject to the same rules. 
 
But their food containers, including the inner plates of meal boxes, should not be made of plastic materials. 
 
Repeat violators will face fines of between NT$1,200 to NT$6,000, according to the EPA regulations. 
 
Those who manufacture, import and market dry cell batteries containng more than five parts per million (5 ppm) of mercurey will also be penalized. 
 
Manufacturers and importers violating the regulations will be subject to a maximum fine of NT$300,000 (US$9,146), while vendors could face fines of up to NT$6,000. 
 
The EPA adopted European Union standards and imposed restrictions on the mercury content of dry cell batteries, which pose a hazard to the environment and to health, EPA officials said. 
 
It is estimated that the new policy will help Taiwan reduce the circulation of more than 200kg of mercury per year, they added. 
 
(punished by The China Post staff)
   
 
 
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