Taichung, Taiwan — Some single-use plastics, like PET water bottles, serve a good purpose, said Peter Pan, vice general manager for Chumpower Machinery Corp.
Chumpower is a blow molding bottle machine maker in Taichung, the industrial hotbed in the central part of the country. A lot of Chumpower's customers use its machines to make shampoo bottles or other cosmetics, but they also sell many systems to make water bottles.
"From our understanding, Europeans have started to ban plastics. And maybe PET bottles. Our thinking is different," Pan said at the company's headquarters. "In the world, everyone has the right to drink clean water. In Europe and the U.S., they are very good countries so they can drink tap water, no problem. Maybe they don't need bottled water."
But there are plenty of places that need it, he said.
"We are marketing in Africa, in the Middle East," Pan said. "People can not get clean water there. The problem is recycling."
He said maybe in the future, bans on PET bottles will come to fruition in Europe and the United States. But that is why they are focusing on developing markets and other materials like Tritan copolyester cups to replace glass ones at bars.
The issue of single-use plastics has become a worldwide discussion, and it's no different in Taiwan. Last year, government officials said they planned to completely ban single-use plastic bags, straws, cups and utensils by 2030.