With marine waste intensifying as a global issue in recent years, the EPA implemented the 2020 Demonstration and Promotion Plan for Marine Waste High-Quality Recycling and Reuse. Collaboration with local environmental bureaus, civic organizations, industries, and the certification institute will demonstrate the procedures (such as tracing through documents and records) that certify products as containing recycled waste from marine environments. Relevant legislation is also on the way, as the Operation Directions for Recycled Marine Debris Product Label, Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan (the Directions) has been announced on 9 April 2021 to serve as explicit reference for mechanisms that certify products using marine waste and for related labeling regulations. It is suitable for domestic and international companies to apply for the Recycled Marine Debris Product Label, demonstrating active actions and support for preventing the impact of marine waste on the environment.
In response to international concerns about marine waste issues, the EPA promotes a Recycled Marine Debris Product Label system, and grants official certification marks to raw materials and products made from recycled marine waste, so that the public is aware of the importance of reducing marine waste. All companies or organizations are welcome to apply for label certification and do their best to fight against marine waste!
The EPA has established a recycled marine waste product verification mechanism and labeling specifications. On 9th April 2021, it issued the Operation Directions for Recycled Marine Debris Product Label, to promote the Recycled Marine Debris Product Label. The collection, classification, treatment, and production of marine waste products shall establish traceable records. After the certification institutes have issued verification statements and verification reports, the weight of marine waste has reached more than 20%, and an application shall be submitted and a label shall be given after review.
There are 16 points in the Directions, which detail the application procedures, evaluation, and management of Recycled Marine Debris Product Label. The primary application documents are audit claims and reports issued by certification institutes which ensure that recycled materials come from coasts or marine environments. Applicants that are initially approved to use the label must then comply with all the Directions and pass the evaluation. The label has been registered after being approved by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). In its design, waves symbolize the ocean while a plastic bottle, the most iconic marine waste item, symbolizes its dual nature as waste and at the same time as a reusable material that can be transformed into various products after being recycled. The circular-shaped waves holding the plastic bottle portray a circular economy.
The EPA also noted that the multiple marine-waste-related labels in recent years were products of corporations and NGOs. What is unique about the EPA's label is that it will be the first in the world to focus on marine waste, that is supported by government agencies and that certifies strict procedures and protocols. The domestic and foreign certification institutes involved are required to comply with both ISO 17065 and ISO 17021 to certify and approve the label, for use in an open and free certification market.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, May 2021
- Ministry of Environment