Plastic bags

Uphold ban on plastic bags and disposable food containers?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

What’s all the fuss?

We’ve been bag-less in Taichung for months now and not a word about it. It’s been very successful.
In the past, dozens of industries have disappeared without any mourning when thier products have been observed to poison users or pollute the environment, so why should the bag-makers be bailed out? Where were they when money had to be spent to clear up the mess they were responsible for? Evading taxes and counting thier profits most likely.

Domestic use of disposable plastic bags has to be a tiny percentage of total plastics production and profits, but they carry on like it’s the end of the entire plastics industry.

(rant)Give these people jobs picking up the plastic bags that smother island and I’ll gladly fund it with my tax dollar, but a 5-year grace period? Screw that. Hope the govt. sticks to its gun on this one.(/rant)

I’ve gotta agree with ya. The wife and I ride bicycles and use canvas shopping bags and when we go into the lane for take-out, we always take our own re-usable containers to bring dinner back home.

Can’t say we’ve been terribly inconvenienced.

These dumbasses (plastic manufacturers) have been marching on the EPA, mourning the loss of their business. ANd I’ll bet most of the poulace is not too happy either.


One day, when we’re up to our eyeballs in styrofoam, then maybe something lasting will be done about the plastic fetish here. Until then, my mother-in-law will still do her shopping at the local market, and return with each item in a seperate pink plastic carrier bag, and so will the other 20 million scooter-shoppers on this once-beautiful isle.

who the hell said no?

if your argument has anything to do with the economy, then you’re shortsighted. as even though they estimate 50,000 will lose their jobs if plastic factories were to close, this economy can absorb them. there are other opportunities, many, many opportunities

the long-term benefits far out-weigh the “convenience” plastic carrier bags offer

They want to eliminate plastic bags for environmental reasons. Yet, back home all the grocery stores switched from paper bags to plastic in order to save the trees. And, while I couldn’t figure which caused more harm, I always re-used the paper bags but often didn’t re-use plastic, so I continued to request paper despite being politically incorrect in that environment.

In Taiwan it is obvious they hand out way too many plastic bags, but to be honest, if one doesn’t bring one’s own container, I don’t know which does greater harm to the environment, paper or plastic. Couldn’t they start by training those idiot clerks not to stick each individual item in its own separate bag?

And it’s the ‘handing out’ that’s the problem. In the scheme we have in Taichung, shoppers who don’t have their own bag can buy a think plastic bag for NT$2. Very, very few will and instead prepare thier own. This is one time the famous Chinese thriftiness benefits them. Bring your own, or be penalized for your laziness. If you buy one, it’s thick enough to use many time over. When they are free, everyone takes more than they need and then throws them away.

Where is this place, ‘away’? I’m very curious, perhaps people think it exists in another dimension or something?

50,000 jobs lost? Ha-bloody-ha. What a load of crap.

Starting with an immediate ban on Betel Nut juice spitting would be much more productive. Heck, why not just put a ban on some of the guys that chew the stuff.:imp: :smiling_imp:

I’m totally in favour of the EPA’s policy. If anything, it doesn’t go far enough. An indirect tax of NT$10 should be levied on every plastic bag issued, and the money so collected be used to pay unemployed people to roam about Taiwan’s beauty spots collecting the discarded plastic bags and other rubbish for proper disposal.

I felt quite sorry for Hau Lung-bin when I saw him on the news last night responding to the criticism and demands for his resignation from that sorry bunch of plastics-industry demonstrators and the pathetic rabble of legislators who had attached themselves to its cause (including that loser who has just returned to the political fray after running away with his mentally-deranged “gift from heaven”). Poor Hau, who on the whole has been doing a pretty good job at the EPA (except for his mistaken pro-incinerator stance), was understandably nervous that a panicky Ayatollah U-turn might cave in to the mob again and hand them another head on a plate. For Taiwan’s sake, I hope that won’t happen and the government will stick to its guns for a change.

That word “immediate” might be misleading to some. This is a multi-phase plan whose details have been known for many months.

“Marchers demand right to work” is the headline of the Taipei Times article. Baituo! “Their right to work had obviously been breached.” :unamused:

Perhaps retraining workers for a wider range of jobs than in the recycling industry would be a good idea. But the government can’t cave on the timetable and expect to be taken seriously about anything ever again (though for many that point was passed a long time ago).

Noted and duly amended. Thanks.

cranky laowai, I couldn’t agree with you more, though in Taipei it is already happening. For example RT-Mart has basically said on January 1, they will not give out bags, and I believe them as they are already stingy with them.

I am hoping though that some of the bigger hyper marts like RT-Mart and Geant will let us take boxes like Cost-Co does. I am all in favor of a plastic bag ban, but I hope they can give us an alternative. I can see myself buying a basket load of stuff and then realizing I forgot to bring a bag… Doesn’t really hurt me, but they’d have to put back all the stuff I took! :laughing: Maybe they can give us (sell us) a canvas shopping bag to use at there store…

My local supermarket put thicker plastic bags and canvas shopping bags on sale the day of the ban here, and a week later a sign went up to offer a cardboard box to anyone who didn’t like those options. They can’t put the boxes out as someone would grab the lot.

I like Omni’s idea and I’d like to be paid NT$10 for every bag I turn in. Hell I’d be a millionaire just cleaning up my own hood if there wasn’t any competition.

I listened to a phone-in program on the radio on Saturday afternoon, in which a representative of the EPA explained the rationale behind the policy and then answered questions (or, more often, responded to rants) from members of the public about it. I was appalled at the selfishness and stupidity of most of the callers, whose general theme was “This is a bad policy because it won’t be convenient for me.” No matter how many times he patiently explained in simple language about how the need to protect our environment outweighs the minor inconvenience of having to carry a shopping bag or used plastic bag with us when we go shopping, there’s a large section of this society that just doesn’t seem to get it. They deserve to buried alive under a mountain of non-decomposing trash. I support the policy 100%, no matter how much I might have to change my habits to adjust to it.

Agree with Omni, sometimes you need to force people into their luck.
But for NT$1 or 2 only I am afraid I would still ask for a bag …

I don’t think it’s a minor inconvenience. I think it can be a huge inconvenience. Where am I supposed to carry this bag I need to take with me whenever I go out? I like to travel light. If I don’t bring it, how am I supposed to carry my stuff home on my scooter? What if I’m buying food that would get my bag dirty? Am I supposed to bring a bowl and chopsticks with me when I buy takeaway food too?

Don’t get me wrong, I think that reposnsible environmental policies are very important, but I believe that the responsibilty lies with the manufacturers and sellers, not just the consumers. I think the costs of disposing of the bags without damage to the environment should be absorbed at the point of manufacture as well as the point of purchase of the bag. So I think the plastics industry should pay part of this cost as well as the consumer. I’m quite willing to pay a fair price to keep getting my plastic bags when I go to the 7-11, but I still want to be able to use them.


Yes, its an inconvenience… but I think you overstate it.

My wife told me that when she was a kid in Chaiyi they used to wrap groceries in bananna leaves… there was never any waste that wasn’t biodegradable.

My only real concern regarding food containers used at eateries is that restaurants will not properly clean the bowls, plates and utensils.

[quote=“Sir Donald Bradman”]I don’t think it’s a minor inconvenience. I think it can be a huge inconvenience. Where am I supposed to carry this bag I need to take with me whenever I go out? I like to travel light. If I don’t bring it, how am I supposed to carry my stuff home on my scooter? What if I’m buying food that would get my bag dirty? Am I supposed to bring a bowl and chopsticks with me when I buy takeaway food too?


Good on ya for having the guts to admit your position when the majority of posters on this thread voted Yes.

I bring my gym bag with me most everywhere, and have been using it to carry home what I buy for some time. That means I don’t need plastic for DVDs, drinks, most groceries, clothing, most of what I buy. But sometimes I buy more than I can stuff into one bag and my briefcase. That’s when I think it is reasonable to use a plastic bag. I also think it is perfectly reasonable to eat out of takeout food containers. While I am happy to support and comply with measures to curtail the use of plastic bags, I don’t think a total ban is reasonable.

When St. Paul, Minnesota started recycling many people argued against the inconvenience of separating garbage and washing out their bottles and cans. Garbage collection was privatized and charged by volume, not a flat rate. It took less than a year before people got used to recycling and never looked back. The garbage bags thing is a forced lifestyle change, thus anti-libertarian, but necessary.
Brian, think of this as a chance for us to get creative: balance the inconvienience and make a fashion statement out of your carry-along bag. Personalize it. Embrace it.
Today I was at McDonalds and was in a rush to get to work. They asked if I wanted a bag for my drink and food. I said no, realizing that I had to start getting used to the change. It was a rather inconvienient carrying the drink in my hand like that, but I’ll know for next time. Thank the earth that I didn’t spill!
This is also a chance for us to think about our consumption patterns and save money. Buy less, buy smart. Visualize your life without plastic bags.

I also agree with the ban on plastic bags, and am willing to put up with a little inconvenience, but I also think that NT $1 is not enough to discourage the waste-loving Taiwanese to give up the plastic bag they “need” to carry around their pack of Long Life cigarettes they buy at the local 7-11, or their little box of bubble tea. Besides the plastic bag ban, however, I think they should also ban giving out all of those damn plastic straws in the convenience stores. Now that’s a waste, and no one seems to ever think about that … They always try to stuff a handful of straws into my plastic bag when I buy some drinks at the 7-11, and I always tell them I don’t want them … they look at me like I’m crazy (how can you possibly drink something without a straw?!), but they already think we’re nuts anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter.