Taiwan’s environmental minister wants to rid the island of urine-splattered toilet seats by encouraging men to sit down to pee.
Stephen Shen, the head of Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), said he himself has adopted the habit, and urged men to follow his lead in the interests of creating a cleaner environment.
Despite the fact that the facilities in most men’s restrooms in Taiwan are comprised mainly of urinals, local government officials are to be asked to put up notices in public areas advising men to take a leaf out of women’s books by sitting on the toilet to relieve themselves.
Officials behind the initiative have said the more men who sit down to urinate the more likely it is that public toilet seats will be clean and ready for the next user.
Yuan Shaw-jing, director general of environmental sanitation and toxic substance maintenance at the EPA, said the initiative was an attempt to follow in the footsteps of countries like Japan and Sweden.
Taiwan’s estimated 100,000 public toilets are visited regularly by inspectors, with most understood to be graded highly. But officials at the agency said some facilities are still marred by urine spatter.
While the agency said it can’t force men to change their toilet habits, it will be using the public notices to encourage them to do so.
Mr Shen’s campaign sparked a debate online according to the report, with the move largely welcomed by female commentators, but derided by some men who suggested it would not be easy to change the habit of a lifetime.