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Reusable Shopping Bag Recycling Box Installed at 12 Traditional Markets

Reusable Shopping Bag Recycling Boxes Taipei City is stepping up efforts in reducing plastic! To decrease plastic from the source (traditional markets), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has installed Reusable Shopping Bag Recycling Boxes at the entrance of 12 traditional markets (see attached table), providing shoppers who have forgotten to bring shopping bags with used reusable shopping bags for free to achieve the objective of minimizing plastic bags in the markets.

The Reusable Shopping Bag Recycling Box also collects used reusable shopping bags, where people are welcome to donate their excess reusable shopping bags from home. After the bags are cleaned, the DEP will share them with shoppers who require them. In doing so, reusable shopping bags can be recycled and reused continuously to maximize their benefits and minimize plastic from the source.

According to the DEP, since launching the Loaned Reusable Shopping Bag campaign with hypermarkets in 2017, the agency has collaborated with hypermarkets, supermarkets, and convenience store chains in 2018 to unveil the reusable shopping-turned-trash bag policy (where used shopping bags can also double as designated trash bags). In October 2018, the Automatic Reusable Shopping Bag Loaning Kiosk was launched at Shidong Market to kick off the traditional market plastic reduction initiative. A total of 2,000 reusable shopping bags have been prepared for the Reusable Shopping Bag Recycling Boxes allocated throughout 12 traditional markets. A performance review will be conducted in 3 months in order to assess the feasibility of expanding the campaign to other traditional markets in Taipei City.

The DEP explained that to encourage people to donate their excess reusable shopping bags that are still in decent shape (excluding paper bags and plastic bags) to the recycling boxes, the DEP has organized the A Bag for A Bag – Happiness Recycling Station event across 157 sub-districts. Citizens may bring their reusable shopping bags to exchange them for designated trash bags (A4-sized reusable shopping bags may be exchanged for 5L designated trash bags and A3-sized reusable shopping bags can be exchanged for 14L reusable shopping-turned-trash bags). This allows people to recycle and repurpose their excess reusable shopping bags at home. After the used reusable shopping bags are collected, the DEP will turn them inside out for cleaning and sterilize them with UV light before placing them in the Reusable Shopping Bag Recycle Box across 12 markets so that the public may use them with peace of mind.

The agency indicated that plastic does not decompose readily in nature, and if left exposed to the elements, the material will not only pollute the environment and the ocean but also indirectly affect people’s health through the food chain. Besides launching the reduction of disposable plastic products, Taipei City Government also hopes more businesses will cooperate with the plastic reduction policy and support the new lifestyle of “bring your own, reuse, and use less”. Let us minimize the use of disposable products and rigorously implement plastic reduction from the source in an effort to protect the Earth by taking action.