Sat, Nov 24, 2007 - Page 4 News List

EPA urges adoption of eco-friendly packaging

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

To promote the reduction of packaging used for consumer products, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday advised the business sector on how to wrap its products in an eco-friendly way.

"Though packaging is an important marketing tool for businesses, it is short-lived and designed to be thrown away," director-general of the EPA's Department of Waste Management Ho Soon-ching (何舜琴) said. "When consumers shop they should recognize unnecessarily elaborate packaging and opt for more sustainable options."

Ho said that since the enactment of Excessive Product Packaging Restrictions in July, 2005, the administration estimated that 6,900 tonnes of packaging materials have been saved annually.

This year, in addition to reinforcing regulations, the EPA is inviting businesses who are awarded by the EPA for their effective yet eco-friendly packaging to share and inspire other businesses to package their products using "green" -- or eco-friendly -- methods, Ho said.

"Green packaging means you minimize packaging material, reduce the printing area and colors, and use recyclable, eco-friendly materials," Hou Hsiao-pei Packaging Design Studio director Hou Hsiao-pei (侯曉蓓) said.

Sustainable Environmental Technology and Management Co. general manager Chen Chih-ku (陳致谷) said: "Packaging your products in a sustainable way is the international trend."

He cited the EU's Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, published in 1994.

Chen said that since the policy was adopted, the UK, France and the Czech Republic have established compulsory laws for eco-friendly packaging.

"The UK has already penalized six companies whose products were in violation of the packaging laws," he said.

"Once the trend spreads more widely to other EU member states, Taiwan's export products to European countries will be affected," Chen said.

"The EU model will be a good reference point, but I hope that more businesses will make efforts to put their minds together and work out sustainable packaging models for Taiwan." he said.

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