The Office of Resource Circulation was set up in July 2021 to gradually promote full recycling so as to maximize recycling and minimize waste disposal. Meanwhile, well-performing enterprises are to be chosen as models to encourage other enterprises in Taiwan to actively participate in recycling. This helps reduce resources lost from linear production or service patterns and creates new economic value by incentivizing private manufacturers and service industries to participate in the circular economy. Model examples set by the well-performing enterprises also encourage colleagues to upgrade their technology or use renewable materials, ultimately facilitating resource recycling in Taiwan.
The EPA has been acknowledging enterprises for their excellent performance in resource recycling since 2018, to date selecting a total of 75, with 36 receiving the two-star award, the highest honor, and 39 the one-star award. All of them are committed to striving for environmental sustainability and revival. Under active governmental effort to facilitate a circular economy, the awarded enterprises are all eager to make changes, upgrade technologically, conduct innovative research, and share their successes to create growth and development in all of Taiwan’s industries.
The EPA expressed that the award recipients have all proven to be outstanding in their own way over the years. For instance, the Heping Plant of Taiwan Cement has formed a closed circular system encompassing the industrial harbor, the Heping Power Plant, and the cement plant. Pipeline connections allow raw ingredients, fuels and wastes to be shared among the three sites. The harbor supplies raw ingredients needed for cement production to the cement plant and ships out the finished products, resulting in lower carbon emissions. All of the coal ash from the power plant is transported to the cement plant as a component for cement.
Guantian Black Gold has transformed waste shells of water caltrop, a primary regional plant eaten as food, into high-value products. Through carbonization, shells are turned into coals, used in objects such as filters in air purifiers, bio-charcoal for agricultural purposes, or products that absorb moisture and reduce odors. The heat generated from the carbonization process can also be recycled. In addition, the weak-base water used to clean the shells can be used in blue dyeing afterwards. Local communities have collaborated with different industries to develop business opportunities, such as organizing interesting local tours that also promote the idea of recycling.
Last but not least, PackAge+ provides a business model of circular services, giving consumers better and environmentally friendlier options for online shopping. Packaging materials from online shopping platforms are rented and shared among online stores, consumers, and return channels. These materials, made of recycled plastic bottles and waste glass, can be used repeatedly over 50 times, drastically cutting down the use of single-use packaging materials.
Via green designs, upgraded renewable technology, increased recyclability, and modified manufacturing processes, more and more enterprises are actively participating in circular rentals, working to extend the life cycles of their own products, and utilizing renewable and recycled raw materials. Accomplishments of these awarded enterprises have been compiled into a book to share their processes in advocating and facilitating resource recycling.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, February 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)