Semi-processed cornstarch will be imported from China next year to be made into biodegradable polythene bags, a local biotechnology company said yesterday.
"We plan to process the raw material in China first because the cost is lower," Felex Chen (陳銘通), general manager of Emperor Biological Appliances (皇上生物科技公司), said yesterday at a press conference.
Chen said that his company was cooperating with a manufacturer in Tianjin (
He said that Emperor would manufacture environmentally friendly biodegradable bags of all varieties. Diverse environmentally friendly products will be available on the market in Taiwan next year, ranging from bin liners, garbage bags, shopping bags, industrial packing film, dining utensils and gardening appliances.
Chen said that the import of these semi-processed goods from China was allowed by the government due to its potential benefits for the environment.
Chen said that few Taiwanese companies were currently producing biodegradable bags and that the technology needed to be improved. But, he said, degradable polymer-related technology was well-developed in China because of a policy due to come into effect soon, which will ban plastic bags.
The first wave of the policy, which will come into effect in January, will ban the use of disposable tableware and plastic bags will be banned soon after.
"It's estimated that about two billion plastic bags are used in China every day," Chen said, adding that the situation has a negative impact on the environment.
Chen said that a new term in China, "white pollution," has been coined to describe the littering habits of train passengers.
"If you look down from above, it's easy to identify where the major railroads are. White plastic meal boxes are littered all along them," Chen said.
Taiwanese scientists said that since polyethylene is not biodegradable, certain special additives such as cornstarch can be added and processed to make it biodegradable.
Chen said that, for the sake of the environment, biodegradable bags deserved to be promoted in Taiwan even though they cost about 1.5 times that of traditional plastic bags.
"So-called `green chemistry' has been promoted in many countries. If 30 percent of the material can be replaced by cornstarch, the production consumes less fuel energy," said Lee Shyh-yang (李世陽), a manager from Union Chemical Laboratories at the Industrial Technology Research Institute.
"Green chemistry" is the use of chemistry to reduce pollution or environmental damage. By reducing or eliminating the use or generation of hazardous substances associated with a particular synthesis or process, chemists can greatly reduce any damage to human health and the environment.
Lee said that experiments had proved that such products could degrade within months.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did