Sat, Jun 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

EPA promotes ‘green’ circular economy deal

ZERO WASTE:Three industrial alliances, which consist of nearly 20 businesses each and practice recycling, have already formed this year

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) yesterday 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 this year, Lee said, while discussing the EU-Taiwan Circular Economy International Conference that is to be held at the Taipei International Convention Center on Monday.

The alliances, which include nearly 20 businesses each, are to practice using materials “from cradle to cradle,” Lee 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 (馬堅勇) 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 (蕭耀貴), 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 (詹穎雯), 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 (賴瑩瑩) said.

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