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Sustainable Consumption

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Due to the natural resource depletion and greater amounts of waste generation caused by the linear economic model, the United Nations has established sustainable development indicators SDG12 "Responsible Consumption and Production"(Figure 1), calling on countries to promote circular economy, manage the use of materials and resource cycling, promote the concept of cradle-to-cradle design, promote green economy, and ensure sustainable consumption and production.

In order to promote source reduction, reduce the use of raw materials, and prolong the service life of products, the Resource Circulation Administration(RECA) plans to promote the green design principles in products such as product with single material, use of recycled materials, easy disassembly and maintenance, modular design, products with certain durability.

Encourage manufacturers to take in the green design idea when conceiving various consumer products such as packaging, containers, etc., from the product life cycle perspective to develop products that can be fully recycled and turned into reuse resources, products with green design features are likely to reduce the consumption of raw materials after disposal or detachable classification are conducive to full recycling, reuse or remanufacturing as raw materials or materials can greatly improve the recyclability of products, maximize the resource efficiency and reduce the amount of waste that is incinerated and landfilled.

Figure 1. Framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Index SDG12
Figure 1. Framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Index SDG12 "Responsible Consumption and Production"

Taiwan has been promoting the reduction of single-use products at the source. Since 2002, the country has been implementing policies to reduce the use of plastic bags and disposable tableware, and gradually expanded the scope to include other items such as disposable beverage cups, plastic trays and packaging boxes, excessive product packaging, and packaging for online shopping. The goal is to reduce waste generation by changing the design, manufacturing, packaging, and usage methods of products. Through various measures, such as levying taxes on disposable tableware, providing incentives for reusable products, and promoting education and awareness campaigns, Taiwan has achieved significant progress in reducing single-use product waste.

In response to the EU and boarder countries are promoting the circular procurement, RECA is making the first move by conducting the circular procurement in government departments. Referring to the European Union's "Circular Economy Public Procurement Paradigms and Guidelines", circular procurement is defined as the priority procurement of projects, products or services that can promote energy resources to achieve a closed cycle in the supply chain, such as products that can be repaired, reused, or recycled, and procurement of services instead of procurement of hardware, etc. In addition, the products must have six main elements, including leasing, complete recycling system, reusability, disassembly and replacement, reparability, and the degree of reusability after product replacement.

Ministry of Environment