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January 15, 2010

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Bin your butts, threatens Taiwan

TAIWAN is looking into fining smokers who stub out on the streets to try to stop an estimated 10 million cigarette butts from piling up in public each year, environmental authorities said on Wednesday.

Backed by 80 percent public support, the Environmental Protection Administration will recommend rules to the government this year with legislative approval expected in 2011, an EPA official said.

Smokers lighting up in public would be asked to put butts and ash in ashtrays, whose numbers will be increased, or collect them to throw away later, said Wang Chun-yuan, an EPA division head.

Enforcement would increase at crowded spots such as train stations, he said.

"The rules will cut down on indiscriminate acts of discarding cigarette butts," Wang said. "If there's a rule, it's got to have some kind of effect."

Another rule under study could bar smoking while riding motorscooters, where smoke wafts into the faces of other motorists.


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