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Grand opening of the 2023 Resource Circulation International Conference Experts from Europe, Asia and Taiwan gather together to build a brand new future of resource circulation

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In an effort to connect Taiwan with the world in terms of resource circulation policy implementation, build a matchmaking platform for companies in the resource circulation industry and understand the latest international trends and technologies as the COVID-19 pandemic eases, the Environmental Protection Administration, ROC (Taiwan) (EPA) once again worked with the EU this year—as they have been doing since 2018—in the “2023 Resource Circulation International Conference”. In tandem with the European Innovation Week, the EPA held an opening ceremony at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC) on 29th May and continued to strengthen its long-term partnership with the EU. The opening ceremony of the EU Innovation Week was attended by President Chen Jian-Ren of the Executive Yuan, Maive Rute, Deputy Director General of the DG Internal Market, Wang Mei-Hua, Minister of Economic Affairs, and Tzi-Chin Chang, Director of the Environmental Protection Administration. The international conference continued after the opening ceremony. Director Chang delivered a speech at the conference, welcoming all experts, representatives, and leaders in industry, academia, government, and research field both abroad and domestically to attend the conference, promoting the development of resource circulation. According to the Environmental Protection Administration, this conference specially invited tMaive Rute, Deputy Director-General of DG Grow, EU gave a keynote speech titled “Circularity in Europe: from regulation to business cases.” The EPA invited government representatives from nations including Germany, Italy and Singapore, experts from Asian Development Bank and a think tank - United Kingdom National Materials Datahub Development, as well as industrial representatives from key companies in Taiwan to share their insights regarding resource circulation strategies and technologies. Through observation and the exchanging of ideas, participants gathered together to build a brand new future of resource circulation.

In 2020, Taiwan announced its pathway to net zero emissions by 2050 and proposed twelve key strategies for achieving it; the eighth of these twelve strategies was “Resource Circulation and Zero Waste” and was the responsibility of the EPA. The EPA further developed detailed strategies including green designs for waste reduction at source, resource reuse and recycling, the establishment of a well-functioning circular economy network and the promotion of innovative technologies and systems. It drafted measures and concrete actions to reduce the use of virgin materials and turn waste into materials, fuels and fertilizers. In the meantime, the EPA has started the process of legislating a dedicated resource circulation act and merging the existing Waste Disposal Act and Resource Recycling Act into a new law. This new law aims to flip the concept of waste management, place a focus on the management of the life cycles of materials, increase manufacturers’ responsibilities in terms of recycling and reusing waste, managing waste generation and product origins, and build a favorable environment for resource circulation.

In recent years, the EU and other international communities have subsequently proposed solutions and action plans relating to resource circulation in order to realize their vision for resource circulation. In response to environmental changes in the world and Taiwan’s own demands for improving the quality of the environment, President Tsai Ing-Wen officially announced the Organization Act of the Ministry of the Environment on 24th May 2023, which stipulated that the EPA is be reorganized into the Ministry of the Environment, and a third-level agency—the Resource Circulation Administration—is to be established. This organizational transformation will be combined with other key administrative measures such as the promotion of the strategy of Resource Circulation and Zero Waste and the establishment of the dedicated Resource Circulation Act in an effort to achieve resource circulation and carbon emissions reduction. In this conference, the EPA showcased to the world Taiwan’s efforts and achievements in resource circulation and worked with all nations to create a society which prioritizes sustainability of resources.

The conference focused on the key topics of “resource circulation policies”, “plastics in resource circulation”, “ecological design and business models of sustainable products” and “turning waste to energy”, for which participants shared their innovative approaches and success stories and provoked new ideas. Among the overseas keynote speakers, the Singapore representative shared Singapore’s strategy for building a sustainable and resource-efficient nation; the Italian official spoke about Italy’s chemical recycling of plastic waste; the expert from the UK introduced a business model for moving away from virgin materials; the German speaker shared the success story of Germany’s implementation of Digital Product Passports; and the expert from the Asian Development Bank presented the various waste-to-energy technologies. As for the speakers from Taiwan, Charles Huang, Founder and Chairman of Circular Taiwan Network gave an introductory statement for the meeting session on resource circulation policies; the representative from Far Eastern New Century spoke about sustainable materials and circular economy; Miniwiz shared concepts for “zero waste and beyond”; Taiwan Design Research Institute introduced its ideas for a green future; Dell Technologies gave a briefing on its ESG strategies; Yuen Foong Yu Inc. explained the principles of green transformation and the implementation of cogeneration and circulation; and Taiwan Bio-energy Technology Development Association showcased Taiwan’s achievements regarding waste-to-energy technology. These keynote speeches and panel discussions were rich in content. Participants from governments, academia and industries were able to gain a thorough understanding of the various innovative ideas and concrete approaches for resource circulation implementation. This conference helped Taiwan and other international communities to become more closely aligned in terms of resource circulation promotion and further strengthened the partnerships between Taiwan and other nations regarding resource circulation.

The EPA emphasized that promoting net zero emissions and resource circulation was an international trend. It hoped that industries and the public could engage in changing mindsets and innovative collaboration and together make Taiwan a fully circular society that effectively utilizes resources and reduces waste.  

EIW Grand Opening Group PhotoEIW Grand Opening Group Photo

Speakers’ group photo for 2023 Resource Circulation International ConferenceSpeakers’ group photo for 2023 Resource Circulation International Conference

Keynote Speech by Maive RUTE, Deputy Director-General & Chief Standardisation Officer, DG GROWKeynote Speech by Maive RUTE, Deputy Director-General & Chief Standardisation Officer, DG GROW

Opening Remarks by Tzi-Chin Chang, minister of EPAOpening Remarks by Tzi-Chin Chang, minister of EPA

Ministry of Environment