On 27 December 2021, the EPA issued the Marine Debris Circular Product Label to certify 13 products developed by four enterprises, including Horng En Plastics, BoReTech, NICE Enterprise, and Taijei Precision Co. This first batch of the issued Marine Debris Circular Product Label marks its beginning and displays local enterprises’ environmental efforts. Furthermore, it shows the resolve of both the government and enterprises to keep the ocean clean.
In 2021, the EPA opened a new chapter in Taiwan’s endeavor toward reusing marine debris with the launch of a new clothing series, in which 96% of the contents are waste plastic bottles collected from the ocean. It successfully demonstrated the joint efforts of industries, government, academia and researchers, and international certification organizations on promoting the circular use of marine debris and a certifying mechanism for tracking sources. Afterward, a set of guidelines to promote the product label were announced in stages after 9 April 2021 as references for enterprises in their application and the EPA’s evaluation and management. On 3 June, the design of the label’s logo was approved by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and then registered. The whole process is to encourage corporations to actively participate in marine environmental protection, reduce waste and resource consumption, and consider the possibilities of reusing marine debris to make products.
Firstever to have been certified with the Label, the four enterprises come from both the upstream and downstream of the industry. Horng En Plastics, the recycling company, utilizes bottle caps, buoys, fishing nets, and plastic barrels and boxes. BoReTech Reusable Technology produces reutilized materials with waste plastic bottles. NICE Enterprise, the leading household product manufacturer, uses recycled marine debris to make containers as the packaging of its popular products. And lastly, Taijei Precision Co., a new enterprise, manufactures floors and wooden materials with mixtures of marine debris, agricultural wastes, and fishing wastes.
EPA Deputy Minister Hung-Teh Tsai noted that the 13 products from the four corporations are the firstever in the nation to be certified with the Label. Since 2021, the EPA began finalizing each and every detail in the certification process, hoping to ensure Taiwan’s reutilized products that use marine debris aligned with the world. With the certification regulations in place, enterprises in Taiwan that passed the strict certification process will be able to put their products on the global market. Likewise, similar foreign products can enter Taiwan once obtaining the Label. The Label helps increase consumers’ willingness to purchase a product and ultimately expands the business opportunities for reuse products and their usage.
Deputy Minister Tsai elaborated that the enterprises certified this time are those that have been developing products with recycled marine debris long-term and therefore are highly supported by consumers. Moreover, products of other multiple manufacturers are currently undergoing the certification process, which when approved will be issued the Label by the EPA. Manufacturers in the relevant industry can also form a strategic alliance among themselves, helping enterprises achieve technological breakthroughs by learning about others’ needs and brainstorming. This way, applications of reutilized materials can be expanded.
The verification procedures for the first products certified with the Label were conducted by TÜV Rheinland and the Metal Industries Research and Development Centre, which also produced certification statements and reports to ensure fairness and objectivity of the entire process. Participation of certifying institutions, both foreign and local, further displays how serious all fields have taken in the first year of the Label’s launch.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, January 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)