With the increasing use of take-out utensils and containers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EPA has strengthened controls on responsible enterprises of paper utensils and containers, including unregistered ones, by revising relevant regulations. In the draft revisions, enterprises that manufacture and import paper utensils and containers will be mandated to affix the EPA-issued QR code on the product labels.
The EPA preannounced revisions of Articles 4-1 and 18 of the Responsible Enterprise Regulated Recyclable Waste Management Regulations (應回收廢棄物責任業者管理辦法). Responsible enterprises of paper utensils and containers must affix their own individual QR codes on their products for better tracking and controls.
The EPA explained that the COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 has given rise to demands for take-out utensils and containers, which led to an increasing number of responsible enterprises. With it was a large amount of recycling, clearance, and disposal fees that unregistered enterprises never paid for their manufactured products, hence seriously affecting the operation of the current recycling and disposal of paper utensils and containers. With the wide use of mobile communication devices and mature QR code labeling technology, the EPA is aiming for more effective control on unregistered responsible enterprises by mandating manufacturers and importers to affix their specific QR codes issued by the EPA on their products.
In the future, the public and inspectors will be able to access information of responsible enterprises that manufacture and import paper utensils and containers by scanning their QR codes. Such move will prompt unregistered enterprises to finish registration. Meanwhile, the public can identify and use products from enterprises that have completed registration and have paid the required recycling, clearance, and disposal fees. It will help ensure that responsible enterprises pay all the required fees accordingly.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, December 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)