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Taipei Schools to Ban Wares, Bottled Water starting August 1

The ban on bottled water, melamine utensils, and disposable utensils will be implemented for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and vocational schools of Taipei City starting August 1.
According to Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun, the policy was first implemented at city hall on April 1 this year. The results over the past three months have shown a gradual decline of paper containers. In June, the reduction rate of paper containers has reached 82-percent. Likewise, the rate for plastic containers has also achieved 81-percent.
Chen remarked that according to the city government’s assessment, the ban on disposable utensils and containers for schools is likely to help reduce the use of paper containers by 12.9 million units in a year – equivalent to the height of 890 Taipei 101 buildings. The restriction to the use of bottled water will also cut the amount of PET bottles by 1.4 million each year, which is close to the height of 660 Taipei 101 buildings.
Department of Education Chief Secretary Liao Wen-ching noted that local schools will promote the concept of ‘bringing your own lunchbox.’ The agency will also offer subsidies for school restaurants to purchase reusable utensils and install sinks and washing facilities. To minimize the impact of banning bottled water, schools will also strengthen the placement of water fountains.
Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Lu Shih-chang pointed out that the ban hopes to encourage the development of new living habits, with school and the public sector taking the lead. He hopes that the policy will contribute to reducing carbon emission, trash reduction, and making the lives of the public more safe and healthy.