Taipei, April 30 (CNA) The manufacturing, import and sale of food packaging containing polyvinylchloride (PVC) will be banned in Taiwan starting in July 2023, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced on Friday.
Wang Yueh-bin (王嶽斌), executive director of the EPA Recycling Fund Management Board, explained that although it is less commonly used compared to the past, plastic containers using PVC can still be found on some dairy packaging.
PVC packaging can release plasticizers when used to store liquids, and overexpose to the substance can lead to the risk of cancer when the liquids are consumed, Wang said, noting that this plastic material may also contain stabilizers which can also harm people’s health.
When burned, PVC containers can release dioxins and heavy metals, and while incinerators use filters to catch these materials, contaminated ashes might still leach into the ground to pollute the environment, he added.
The ban on PVC packaging has already become an international norm, the EPA official said, citing South Korea and New Zealand as one of them.
With this new measure, Wang said Taiwan can expect to reduce some 79 metric tons of PVC food packaging every year.
According to the EPA, the ban on PVC packaging will fall under Article 21 of the Waste Disposal Act, which stipulates that for articles such as packaging or containers that pollute the environment, “the central competent authority may officially announce their prohibition of use and the restriction of manufacturing, import and sales of such items.”
When the ban gets underway in July next year, the EPA said people caught selling PVC food packaging will be fined anywhere between NT$1,200 (US$40.74) and NT$6,000, while those caught manufacturing and importing such items will be subject to a NT$60,000-NT$300,000 fine.
(By Yang Shu-min and Ko Lin)


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