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EPA promotes circular economy deal to industry bodies
 


Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Lee Ying-yuan recently invited industrial representatives to sign a “green” deal showing their resolve to create a circular economy.

Three industrial alliances promoting the reuse of plastic, electronic and construction waste have been established in 2018, Lee said. The alliances, which include nearly 20 businesses each, are to practice using materials “from cradle to cradle,” he said, adding that he hopes Taiwan will be able to recycle all usable materials and achieve “zero waste” by 2050.

The Green Electronics Resources Alliance intends to solve the nation’s increasing problem of electronic waste, which sees Taiwanese scrap nearly 5 million cellphones and 3 million computers each year, alliance representative and Solar Applied Materials Technology Corp chairperson Ma Chien-yung said.

Alliance members have developed new eco-friendly techniques to reuse circuit boards and to separate precious metals from obsolete cellphones, Ma said, adding that other firms such as Acer Inc, Asustek Computer Inc, Inventec Corp and Wistron Corp should join their effort.

Plastics Industry Development Center president Hsiao Yao-kuei, representing the Marine Plastic Waste Circular Economy Alliance, said that alliance members have used plastic waste and fishing nets gathered from ocean cleanups to produce sunglasses, clothes, computers and cellphone bags.

Products made from recycled materials are increasing in popularity in the international market, which is why plastics suppliers are glad to join their alliance and work on more eco-friendly product designs, he said.

To secure stable sources of plastic waste, they have asked the EPA to ask the Fisheries Agency about setting up venues for them to collect old fishing nets and float balls, Hsiao said.

Taiwan Concrete Institute vice chairperson Chan Yin-wen, representing the Construction Resources Circulation Alliance, said alliance members have been recycling coal ash from power plants and steel slag to produce concrete for 20 years.
However, the government should reduce legal barriers that obstruct the circulation of recycled materials and products with “green marks,” Chan said.

In a bid to seek international collaboration on working toward a circular economy, EPA and other government agency officials are to visit the Holland Circular Economy Week from June 11 to June 14, EPA Department of Waste Management Director-General Lai Ying-ying said.

Blake Lin (blakelin@taitra.org.tw)
Source: Taipei Times



 
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