Dutch envoy touts benefits of the circular economy

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Jan 15, 2019 - Page 3

The Netherlands’ envoy to Taiwan said he is looking forward to working with the government to promote the circular economy.

The exhibition at the Taichung World Flora Exposition’s Holland Pavilion perfectly showcases the idea of achieving a sustainable world, Dutch Representative to Taiwan Guy Wittich said at the expo on Friday.

At a news event, the head of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taiwan (NTIO) said he has seen a better-than-expected response to the concept since the pavilion opened in November at the Houli Horse Ranch and Forest Park, one of three expo venues.

Unlike a linear economy — a “take, make, dispose” model of production — a circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emissions and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing and narrowing energy and material loops.

Wittich said his nation has been promoting the idea for years, with the goal of turning its economy into a circular one by 2050.

Built to embody a circular economy, the pavilion aims to achieve environmental sustainability by using recycled materials and smart design to minimize the negative effects of economic activity on the environment, he said.

Constructed in partnership with 44 public and private entities in Taiwan, the pavilion is the first circular-built structure in the nation, Wittich added.

Unveiled during the expo’s opening, the pavilion features many environmentally friendly designs, such as energy-conserving pneumatic vacuum elevators and bolted steel structures that required no welding, the NTIO said.

Wittich said he has been pleased to see many young people visiting the pavilion since it opened.

“I was extremely glad to find that many Taiwanese students and young visitors are showing an interest and gaining more knowledge about the circular economy concept during their visits,” he said.

About 70 percent of the estimated 2 million expo visitors over the past three months have stopped in at the pavilion to learn about circular economies and hear about business cooperation between Taiwan and the Netherlands, the NTIO said.