Following international trends to reduce plastic waste, the EPA preannounced the draft of the Targets and Measures for Restrictions of Single-Use Lodging Supplies (一次用旅宿用品限制使用對象及實施方式), which impose restrictions on single-use lodging supplies provided by hotels and other lodging enterprises. The contents of the preannouncement will be implemented in two phases starting from 1 July 2023. “No providing unless requested” will be implemented in the first phase while “discounts for people who bring their own supplies or the option to buy” in the second. Local environmental bureaus shall submit the second phase implementation dates for approval.
The Targets and Measures for Restrictions of Single-Use Lodging Supplies was formulated by the EPA based on Article 21 of the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法). The regulations stipulate that hotel enterprises (including tourist hotels, hotels and guesthouses) and other lodging enterprises (such as campgrounds and RV camps) shall not provide, unless requested, free single-use lodging supplies to consumers inside or outside of the rooms of the lodging during the first phase (starting from 1 July 2023). During the second phase, the enterprises shall provide consumers a discount of at least 5% for rooms that do not provide single-use lodging supplies, or enterprises shall display the prices of all single-use lodging supplies in operating sites or lodging rooms for consumers to purchase. Implementation dates shall be submitted by local governments to the EPA for approval and promulgation.
Restricted single-use lodging supplies include three types of items: liquid cleaning and maintenance products less than 180 ml and in single-use packaging, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion; personal hygiene products such as combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shaving foam and shower caps; and disposable slippers.
Single-use lodging supplies, including main items, containers or packaging, are often made of plastic materials. Disposing of them after just one use leads to a rapid waste of resources. To reduce plastic pollution, in the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), 154 countries pledged to formulate a legally binding global plastics treaty by 2024 to greatly reduce the use of single-use plastic products. In addition, plastic pollution and waste generated during travel is prone to enter oceans or land waters causing environmental and ecological harm. Hence, to solve the problem and reduce waste, the United Nations Environment Programme and World Tourism Organization launched the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative in 2020, inviting tourism industry chain enterprises, associations and NGOs to join and pledge to use environment-friendly products instead of single-use plastics for lodging supplies.
The EPA reminded the public again to cultivate the concept of “bring your own, use repeatedly, and use less” to put environmental protection actions such as plastics reduction and waste reduction into practice. It emphasized that self-supplying lodging supplies when traveling is both hygienic and environment friendly.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, January 2023
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)