Buffet and Lunch Box Stores Obligated to Set Up Paper Tableware Recycling Facilities after 1 October 2021


On 21 June 2021, the EPA announced the Scope of Vendors Required to Set Up Paper Tableware Recycling Facilities, Facility Settings, Specifications and Other Compliance Measures, which became effective on 1 October 2021. This announcement targeted buffet and lunch box stores where there are seats for dining in and paper tableware (including items such as boxes, plates, trays, bowls, dishes) is used for serving. These stores shall set up resource recycling facilities for paper tableware recycling at the stores, adopt required recycling reminding measures, and hand over the recyclables in accordance with the regulations. The stores that provide environmental tableware that can be repeatedly washed and reused to dining-in customers or serve food mainly for take-out and deliveries are not in the scope of the regulations. The EPA encourages waste reduction at the source and use of reusable tableware.  

The EPA noted that after the new regulations became effective, buffet and lunch box stores must have recycling facilities for paper tableware sorting and stacking. The square "recycling symbol" and the words "Paper Tableware Recycling Site" should be marked on the obvious place of the facility. The graphics and text should be intact and clearly visible, with no restrictions on font style and font size. The stores may adopt recycling promotion measures such as posting recycling promotion posters, slogans, or playing audio clips to remind the public to "clean, sort and stack" paper tableware. At last, the stores must hand over the sorted and stacked paper tableware to recycling enterprises, antiquity dealers, scavengers, or self-employed recyclers for recycling. The EPA reminds business operators to speed up the establishment of paper tableware recycling and sorting areas and implement paper tableware recycling and sorting, lest they are punished for negligence and violation of the regulations.

Paper tableware is an announced recyclable waste. After eating, people may clean the containers with tissues first, sort garbage, food scraps and tableware, and finally stack the tableware. The EPA reminds the public that in addition to cleaning, sorting and stacking paper tableware when dining out, same thing shall be done at home to keep home environment sanitary and clean, and correctly sort waste and recycle resources. The public is also reminded to have the habits to bring their own tableware, choose stores that provide reusable tableware, and reduce the use of paper tableware.        

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, October 2021

Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)
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