Sun, Oct 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Waste solution project earns UK award nomination

Staff writer, with CNA

A waste solution project by Miniwiz, a company that turns waste plastic bottles into tiles, has been nominated for the UK’s Beazley Designs of the Year.

“Trashpresso,” the world’s first mobile plastics and fabric waste recycling plant, was nominated in the product design category, and is one of 87 nominated projects across the fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design categories.

A combination of the words “trash” and “espresso,” the project was designed to tackle waste by creating a mobile, automated and self-powered, industrial-grade recycling platform, said Miniwiz founder Arthur Huang (黃謙智).

Trashpresso is housed in a 12m container that can be easily be moved, he said.

Unlike existing recycling systems the plant runs on solar power and can run completely off the electricity grid, Huang said.

Once in position, Trashpresso can collect plastic trash, and wash, shred, melt and mold it using an automated process, turning it into hexagonal tiles.

The project hopes to make circular economy manufacturing portable, Miniwiz said.

On average, five plastic bottles, or 50 bottle caps are used to make one tile, and it takes about an hour to transform 50kg of plastic waste into useful materials, Huang said.

Huang said he believes that Taiwan is advanced at processing waste and has an advantage in promoting environmentally friendly policies because it has great technology and local talent.

Taiwan needs to improve in promoting its achievements to the international community, Huang said, adding that he hopes this project will help achieve that goal.

Miniwiz was also featured in the latest issue of the UK magazine The Economist, in which the company was described as “deriving value from physically repurposing old rubbish.”

The Economist also recognized Taiwan’s efforts in dealing with waste.

“The island is a poster child for recycling, recovering 52 percent of rubbish collected from households and commerce, as well as 77 percent of industrial waste, rivaling rates achieved by South Korea, Germany and other top recycling nations (America recycles 26 percent and 44 percent respectively),” the magazine said.

Taiwan has even turned the trash businesses into good businesses, it said.

Taiwan’s recycling industry brings in annual revenue of more than US$2 billion, the magazine said.

The Economist quoted Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) as saying that 16 of the 32 teams competing at this year’s soccer World Cup in Russia sported shirts that were made in Taiwan from fiber derived from recycled plastic.

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