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Be responsible: Face mask litterers in Taiwan can be fined up to NT$6,000

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), individuals who are found throwing their discarded surgical masks on the streets can be fined from NT$1,200 to NT$6,000 under the Waste Disposal Act.

Various municipalities in Taiwan have seen an increase in discarded surgical masks on the streets since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as the use of masks have skyrocketed.

According to the county's Environmental Protection Bureau, a group of volunteers picked up more than 500 masks left lying around the streets near a hospital within an hour.

Only four masks were found in trash bins that the hospital had set up, the bureau said.

In response to the violations, the bureau said they will step up enforcement of the Waste Disposal Act. 

They have also sent out volunteers to public transit stations and hospitals to spread the message that "littering discarded face masks is scarier than not wearing one."

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