Stupid. I’ve been bringing my own stainless cup to get drinks for at least a few years now. They always give me a straw because drinking out of a stainless straw is a legitimate danger to ones safety (chipped teeth, impalement) (I could switch to silicone I guess, but how much waste goes into making the reusable straws and cups vs. the disposable ones?)
Common sense and actual research shows that charging for a cup/bag makes consumers change their habits more quickly. A few universities tried this — they lowered the cost of the drinks in the cafe by 30 cents (US$) and then charged 30 cents for the disposable cup if you didn’t bring one. Keep in mind an expensive disposable cup is only like 5 cents, so this wasn’t profit-seeking / financially beneficial to the cafe.
I paid off the cost of my $30 thermos in college on discounted drinks pretty quickly (plus places like Panera used to give you free drinks if you brought your own cup and purchased a meal, my university gave a discount somewhere around 25-35 cents for BYOC). I used to come in with thrift store coffee mugs we kept in the dorm (25 cents) if I hadn’t cleaned my thermos in a while. When there’s a financial incentive, people change their behavior.
Meanwhile in Taiwan, most places give you NT$2 off if you bring your own mug. That’s not an incentive. I pay more than that for soap and water to clean it out!
Having lived in Taiwan on and off for the past 8 years, I don’t see how well this will work. My drink purchases were usually spur of the moment, and if they end up using paper cups, we’ll just see a increase in non-recyclable garbage.
I admire the intent, but this good intention is going to lead to a lot of negative consequences without a tangible and tested plan from those making this policy.
It depends a great deal on how they do it. Almost guaranteed they’ll make a right pig’s ear of the legislation. I doubt they’ll apply the same rules to drinks bought in 7-11, so the net effect will just be to shift profits away from small businesses and into the pockets of conglomerates.
One possibility would be to sell strong, reusable cups with cute pictures on them. You could make them collectible so they’re desirable items in their own right. Add a large deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the cup with a 90% refund on return (to cover the cleaning cost). That way people don’t literally have to walk around carrying a cup just in case they want to buy a drink.
OTOH I don’t have an awful lot of sympathy for drinks shops if they lose business. They’re basically selling addictive drugs that are causing a lot of damage. If people stop buying sweetened tea by the half-litre, it’ll do a lot of the nation’s health.