WIT Press

Toward A Zero Waste Society In Taiwan


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WIT Press


H.-W. Chen & H. Houng


Taiwan, an island with dense population but limited resources, bears a heavy environmental burden. Although industries in Taiwan have been booming for decades, the escalation of waste generation has never ceased and will profoundly how to use resources wisely, to achieve a sustainable society, has become an ever more serious issue that is concerning both the government and the people of Taiwan. As the natural resources are waning and the costs of garbage disposal is constantly rising over time, waste disposal policies have shifted from traditional disposal methods, such as sanitary landfills and waste incineration, to new methods, such as minimization at the source, sorting, separation of dry and wet garbage, pre-treatment, and transferring of garbage from remote areas. Moreover, with the policies of front-end prevention (restricting the use of plastic shopping bags and plastic disposable dishes) and the back-end per-bag trash collection fee, households are rewarded to reduce the amount of garbage. Communities are also encouraged to set up garbage self-disposal systems or other flexible and diversified methods, which are aiming to ease the pressure on the end-of-pipe treatment and induce recycling and reuse of materials. With the principle of \“extended producer responsibility,” businesses and institutions are required to work on the \“green design” and \“life cycle analysis,” and to set up an \“environment management system” to meet the future needs of environmental protection from international markets. The government will also assist the Center for the Exchange of Industrial Waste Information and the promotion of environmental management systems, and subsidize the R&D of the new environmental technologies. All of these measures will be taken to help businesses establish corporate images and thereby increase their competitiveness in the international markets. Although the adoption and the implementation of the strategies and policies of \“zero waste” will encounter certain obstacles, we should still actively strive to establish concrete policies and objectives for campaigns, strict law enforcement and the encouragement of innovation and trials. What we will need to achieve this will be: understanding and support of the general public, the cooperation of private sectors, as well as the open-mindedness of the public sectors. Our natural resources are so scarce and precious that we must work in tandem with the global trend to achieve a \“zero waste” world. affect the lifestyles and the living standards for generations to come. Therefore,