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Photo credit: CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Taiwan plans to ban single-use plastic drinking straws in fast food chains beginning 2019, in a war on plastic waste, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said Tuesday.

According to the timetable, the EPA plans by 2020 to expand a restriction on providing customers with free plastic shopping bags to all retail stores that issue uniform invoices, while imposing a blanket restriction against offering plastic bags at all stores and studying the feasibility of raising the prices of plastic bags by 2025. A blanket ban on plastic shopping bags is set to be introduced in 2030, Lee said

Read the full article on Taiwan’s planned bans until 2030 here.

By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao for Focus Taiwan News Channel.


Cigarette butts pose a risk to beach ecosystems, say Thailand government officials. Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA

Those caught lighting up could face a year’s imprisonment as the government seeks to end pollution and drain damage on Thai beaches caused by discarded cigarette butts

Thailand is to ban smoking on some of the country’s most popular tourist beaches, with the prospect of up to a year in prison for those caught lighting up, according to reports by local media.

The move follows a recent survey of litter on Patong beach, Phuket – visited by millions of foreign tourists each year – which found an average of 0.76 cigarette butts per square metre in a sample area, which would amount to 101,058 butts on the 2.5km-long stretch of sand.

The survey was undertaken by the country’s department of marine and coastal resources, which described it as a “serious problem”. Discarded cigarette butts accounted for a third of rubbish collected by the department.

Read the full article on Thailand’s plan to ban smoking on some of the country’s most popular tourist beaches here.

By Will Coldwell for The Guardian.


Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific announces shark fin ban

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Cathay Pacific: standupforsharks

Image Source: BBC

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has announced a ban on shipments of shark fin in a move that has been welcomed by conservationists. Cathay is one of the world’s biggest cargo airlines, and its decision is expected to have a sizeable impact. By BBC. Read more.