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Taiwan Circular Economy Summit

Taiwan Circular Economy Summit

Date: 15 October 2019

The ECCT’s Low Carbon Initiative was a supporting organiser of the full-day summit, organised by the Environment Protection Association (EPA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). It featured opening remarks by EPA Deputy Minister Tsai Hung-teh and keynote speeches by Lai Ying-ying, Director General of the EPA, Chen Liang-dong, Deputy Director, Sustainable Development Division of the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Professor Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel (IRP) under the UN’s Environmental Programme (UNEP). In four sessions, speakers and panellists discussed circular economy policies and industry practices including circularity in plastics, construction waste and solar energy materials and facilities. After the keynote speeches a panel discussion was held in which EPA Deputy Minister Shen Chih-hsu, MOEA Deputy Minister Tseng Wen-sheng and Professor Potočnik participated. Among the speakers in other sessions were representatives of LCI member companies Unilever, TÜV Rheinland and APP.

In her presentation, Joy Ho, Managing Director of Unilever Taiwan, spoke about her company’s efforts to improve the sustainability and circularity of its packaging, especially the use of plastic materials. The company has a target to reduce the use of plastic materials by 50% and ensure that 100% of its packaging materials are either made from recycled materials, recyclable or biodegradable. Part of the solution is to use better plastic containers that can be reused multiple times and improve control measures to ensure that plastic remains in the value chain and does not escape into the environment. In addition the company is removing plastic where it is harmful. For example, there is no plastic in the company’s tea bags, which are 100% biodegradable. The company is also cooperating with the UN Development Programme and local organisations in countries like India and Indonesia to improve plastic recycling and circularity efforts.  

In his presentation, Paul JH Wang of TÜV Rheinland spoke about how to improve the circularity of photovoltaic power plants, the challenges facing solar developers in Taiwan and the importance of quality reviews, among other subjects.

In his presentation, Felix Ko, Senior Vice President of APP Indonesia, spoke about the growing demand for eco-friendly food packaging. In this regard, he suggested more could be done to improve environmental sustainability by increasing the planting of trees, improving the sustainability of forests and to increase circularity by using recycled paper for disposable food containers, among other initiatives.