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RECA Aims to Recycle 80,000 Phones via Promotion Event

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Mobile Phone Recycling Month was back! On 26 September, the MOENV’s Resource Circulation Administration (RECA) promoted the Mobile Phone Recycling Month, which ran throughout October. This year special incentives for corporate participation and more prize options were introduced in addition to doubling the collection points from last year. Moreover, focus was placed on promoting recycling and reuse of resources after collection as well as enhancing material utilization. Enterprises were urged to take part in establishing a seamless recycling process with regulatory measures, namely, from product design, repair, to reuse of secondhand phones. This will ultimately help lead the whole society to the end goal of sustainable development.

The promotion ran throughout the entire month of October, 2023. Not only did participants complete the recycling process at designated locations and register their information for a lucky draw for additional discounts at participating recycling channels, but they also stood a chance to win prizes worth a total of NT$300,000. For every three discarded mobile phones recycled, participants could earn an extra entry for the lucky draw!

The RECA was set up on 22 August 2023, aiming to promote sustainable consumption and production, enhance efficiency of resource use, and increase the value of waste management. It adopts three major strategies: green design and source management, circular recycling and utilization of energy and resource, and waste quantity balancing and management. The two driving forces in its policy framework are connecting top-, mid-, and low-end industries to create a smooth circular network, and developing innovative technologies and systems. All of these serve to promote recycling and reuse of waste resources, extend product lifespans, lower the use of raw materials, and create carbon reduction benefits.

Corresponding with the RECA’s establishment, enterprises were invited to join the promotion of the mobile phone recycling month this year. Apart from expansion of recycling channels, efforts are underway to include enterprises’ recycling systems in relevant legislation. The initiative will involve integration of both phone recycling and repair in the design of a “circulation rate,” which, along with targets set for each year, will be used to push enterprises to incorporate circular and sustainable concepts at the beginning stage of product designs. In addition, the new legal framework will be designed to urge enterprises to extend the lifespan of mobile phones via refurbishment and sale of secondhand devices, thereby reducing resource consumption.

The Mobile Phone Recycling Month was initially launched in 2019 by the then-EPA with the result of collecting 23,000 devices. The initiative has steadily grown, reaching 72,000 devices collected in 2022, nearly tripling the initial figures. This growth also brought Taiwan’s total recycled mobile phones last year to 730,000 units. This year, the recycling channels have been expanded to include four more categories of enterprises, including retail stores, online shopping platforms, stores of communication services, and secondhand phone shops. With their participation, there are now approximately 13,500 collection points. The goal is to collect over 80,000 mobile phones in October alone, resulting in cutting down annual CO2 emissions by 11,200 metric tons, equivalent to the carbon absorption capacity of approximately 101 Daan Parks. Moreover, the event will promote recycling of metals, creating an annual production value of NT$30.38 million.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2023
Ministry of Environment