Lehua Night Market began its campaign to eliminate plastic from the market. The official launch of the campaign begins Saturday, but New Taipei City wanted to showcase the move early as it prepares for a month of activities to promote the reduction of waste.
Lehua became the first night market in Taiwan to do away with plastic containers and cups and bags, UDN reported. Visitors to the night market near Dingxi MRT Station in Yonghe District are encouraged to bring their own bags, chopsticks, and cups.
New Taipei will issue discount coupons for use at night markets, and can be used immediately, to encourage residents and visitors to be more environmentally conscious. Those bringing their own tableware are eligible for a NT$5 discount. However, some will also be given lottery tickets between July 22 and August 22 that could win a one-year 90% discount at Lehua Night Market or other discount coupons.
Chang Feng-yuan (張峯源), director of the Economic Development Department of New Taipei, said that the average person who visits a night market will purchase enough food and drinks to generate almost half a kilogram of trash, including containers, plastic bags, and disposable tableware.
The New Taipei Environmental Protection Department said that if people only bring their own bags and tableware, the night markets can eliminate almost all plastic.
In related news, the fire department was sent to Lehua Night Market on Thursday evening to inspect gas canisters used at the food stalls to ensure safety and avoid any incidents such as the explosion that left one dead and 15 injured in Taichung. The fire department found two vendors in need to replacing hoses connecting the gas canisters during the inspection, Apple Daily reported.