The EPA plans to restrict disposable toiletries in hotel rooms to reduce the carbon footprint starting July 1.
According to statistics, the number of domestic tourists reached 80 million people in 2019. Tourists staying in hotels use a lot of accommodation goods, which the Environmental Protection Administration intends to restrict. The first phase will start July 1, in which hotels will "not take the initiative" to offer disposable items, including toiletries and skincare products in containers that hold less than 180ml, personal hygiene products, and disposable slippers. Such goods also won't be displayed outside of the rooms.
Wang Yu-bin, Executive Secretary, Recycling Fund Management Board: “This trend is irreversible. The EPA wants to continue to push this new regulation.”
Although hotels cannot automatically provide disposable goods, they can still replace single-use toiletry bottles with larger bottles. In the first phase, if guests want the goods, they can still request them separately from the hotel. The EPA held a draft discussion meeting on the 7th that was attended by hotel operators. The Tourism Bureau was the first to scrutinize the policy, stating that implementation of the new policy on July 1 would lack insufficient publicity, which would increase customer complaints, and ultimately impact Taiwan's international image, and exhaust service staff.
Chien Yin-I, Deputy Director, Technical Division, Tourism Bureau: “Is it possible for the EPA to ask them simply not to provide any disposable goods? Also, to enhance the advocacy period for raising awareness.”
Companies that import such disposable goods are not satisfied with the short notice.
Huang Ming-kuang, Hotel Operator: “We hope that the EPA and the Tourism Bureau can delay this new policy until two, or three years later.”
Huang Tien-chun, Hotel Operator: “Would you dare to use the same lotion used by a previous guest? Probably not.”
The EPA explained that this draft is by no means a ban on the sale of disposable toiletry goods. They can still be sold to consumers in need if they are not provided free of charge. However, the Tourism Bureau and many businesses are worried about the lack of a buffer period. The EPA responded that it wants to proceed step by step. The administration can move the implementation date back if stakeholders agree to delay and implement it nationwide.