EPA Major Policy Shift: Toilet Paper to Be Flushed

Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration has reversed its policy on disposal of toilet paper, and says that citizens will flush toilet paper in the future, rather than putting it in a bin.

The policy shift comes after a 10-year long controversy that saw the EPA maintain that throwing toilet paper in the toilet would result in pollution.

EPA Minister Lee Ying-yuan, speaking to the Legislative Yuan, said that the EPA future policy objective is to encourage people to change their habits. Instead of putting used toilet paper into a bin, people will flush it away.

The EPA said in the next 3 months it would consult with toilet paper manufacturers about the issue.

Legislator Lu, Shiow-Yen commended Minister Lee, and said that the three previous EPA chiefs had failed to deal with the problem. Minister Lee is the first one to come up with a plan. Ms. Lu said that Taiwan had a hot and humid climate, and that putting filthy toilet paper into a bin really seemed to bring about environmental pollution. She said the EPA should change its policy and deal with the problem.

Speaking to reporters, Minister Lee said that past policy was to encourage people to put used toilet paper in the rubbish bin, but today, toilet paper can break down. He added that Taipei City and several other cities have sewage systems with high connection rates. The national level of development has improved.

The minister pointed out that its only in China and Taiwan that people put used toilet paper in a bin. In other countries, people put it in the toilet.

Over the next 3 months, the EPA will consult with industry, including toilet paper manufacturers, and then will implement a plan to ensure people use the correct type of paper, and to flush it after use.

Some people interviewed by Apple Daily disagreed with the decision. A 22 year-old university student surnamed Zeng told reporters that his personal habit is to throw the used toilet paper into the bin. He doesn’t like to throw it into the toilet because he is worried about the toilet clogging up. He said that he wouldn’t change his habit despite the government declaration.

A 33 year-old housewife surnamed Xu, said that a lot of tissue is 2 or 3 layers thick and does not easily break down. If people throw the toilet paper into the toilet there are bound to be a lot of blockages. Clearing a toilet blockage can cost up to NTD$4000. Is the government going to pay for the repairs?

A visitor from Singapore, Mr Zhong, said that all toilet paper in Singapore was made to be flushed and he had always flushed the paper down the toilet. He was astonished that people in Taiwan put the used toilet paper into a bin.

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