To promote domestic plastic recycling and waste reduction, the EPA encourages industries to mix recycled plastic materials into packaging materials, aiming to achieve a 25% usage rate of recycled materials by 2025 and a 30% usage rate by 2030. On 30 April a press conference was held to promote recycled plastic products for green circularity, inviting companies such as Kao Corporation and Nice Group to participate. It is hoped that collaboration with the industry will reduce consumption of virgin materials and move towards resource circulation and zero waste.
Internationally, efforts have been made to promote net-zero emissions and sustainable development in response to plastic pollution. The European Union (EU) has been a pioneer in this regard, with the European Plastics Pact introduced in 2020, which aims for an average of at least 30% recycled plastics in products and packaging by 2025. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France, have also set similar goals. As Taiwan heavily relies on imported petrochemical resources for plastic production, the EPA is promoting increased use of recycled plastic materials in industries to more efficiently utilize such resources and maximize their value, and thus align with international environmental trends. It is expected that, via such promotion, by 2025 the usage rate of recycled plastic materials in packaging can reach 25%, the use of recycled plastics can increase by roughly 75,000 metric tons, and carbon emissions be reduced by around 150,000 metric tons.
To encourage voluntary use of recycled plastic materials in industries, on 3 November 2022 the EPA set the Operation Guidelines for Promoting Recycled Plastic Products for Non-Food Packaging (非填充食品之塑膠再生商品推動作業要點) with a priority focus on non-food plastic containers. For plastic containers for cosmetics, animal cleaning and care products, cleaning agents, lubricants, etc., an evaluation mechanism has been established to confirm sources of recycled materials, their quality, and proportions within mixtures, thus providing a regulatory framework for enterprises to follow. Several companies have already begun using recycled materials and have voluntarily participated in the process of evaluating content of recycled materials. In the future, consumers will be able to find on the EPA's website information on products that have passed the evaluation for recycled plastic containers (https://www.epa.gov.tw/Page/E98E2B0A22D482BB).
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, March 2023
- Ministry of Environment