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Taiwan and the EU Share Successful Experiences of Circular Economy on 30th Anniversary of Partnership

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The 2018 EU-Taiwan Circular Economy International Conference lasted for three day, including a seminar on 4 June, a cluster matchmaking event on 5 June, and finally a site tour to circular economy facilities and enterprises in Tainan on the last day.

In addition to inviting outstanding local and foreign speakers to give speeches on circular economy in the conference, a trade show was also held outside of the conference venue. Participating companies included Da Fon Environmental Technology, Solar Applied Materials Technology, Far Eastern New Century (FENC), IKEA, RUENTEX, and UWin Nanotech.

During the trade show, the participating companies presented a vast array of applications of circular economy, showcasing Taiwan's efforts and achievements in promoting circular economy. For example, IKEA put out a variety of products using local brown sugar; Far Eastern New Century collaborated with a sporting goods company to make World Cup jerseys and sneakers out of ocean waste; Da Fon Environmental Technology created products with recycled plastics; and RUENTEX manufactured heat insulation renders. To further demonstrate Taiwan's accomplishment in promoting circular economy, the souvenirs for the conference guests were made from recycled tin. The EPA was whistleblowers: Those who violate the Act and profit from such actions will be imposed with fines as well as have their illegal gains returned; A mechanism for whistleblowers and rewards has been set up to encourage reporting of illegal activities; And factories are required to disclose information on pollution emission for public scrutiny. inspired by Japan's cellphone recycling project to make medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the recycled tin was provided by Rui Da Hung Technology Materials.

On 6 June, a delegation of officials and industry experts led by DG GROW Deputy Director-General Antti Peltomäki joined with EPA Deputy Minister Tzi-Chin Chang at the cluster seminar on circular economy partakers. The seminar also gathered businesses in Tainan working in the field of circular economy to establish mutual understanding of the industry clusters in both Taiwan and Europe and to create more opportunities for future business cooperation.

After the seminar, the group went to Chengxi Refuse Incineration Plant where they were greeted by Chien-San Lin, Director of Environmental Protection Bureau of Tainan City Government, who explained to them that it is the EPA's goal to turn this incineration plant into a circular economy park. Lin also gave a detailed presentation on the generation of solar power and biomass in the plant and the reuse process of bottom ash. The site tour fully demonstrated Tainan City's achievement in circular economy, energy creation, and environmental protection. The other highlight of the day was a visit to Solar Applied Materials Technology (SAMT), a world-leading precious metal and rare metal recycling company. At SAMT, the European delegation was introduced to a special and environmentally friendly technology to extract precious metals.

The EPA pointed out that some companies have already put joint effort in promoting environmental sustainability by voluntarily forming Sea Waste Plastics Circular Economy Alliance (SWPCEA), Green Electronics Resources Alliance (GERA), and Taiwan Construction Resource Circulation Alliance (TCRCS) that focus on waste plastic, waste electrical and electronic equipment materials, and C&D Waste, respectively. The EPA believes that collaborating with these three alliances will be a key step toward realizing a circular economy in Taiwan. Through this international conference, both the public and private sectors showed their determination in expanding cooperative exchanges with other nations and creating a new era of a circular economy.

Ministry of Environment