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Sunday, September 08, 2019

Want to have a "Green" future country? Be like Taiwan!

08/31/2019 08:52:44 PM

Today's climate crisis has made sustainability become a top priority for countries aiming to balance bullish economic development with its inevitable environmental impact. That being said, developing countries must look at the playbook of a once-garbage-ridden island republic in Asia, which made a massive turnaround and has now become one of the world's leading recycling countries.

Decades ago, Taiwan has plagued a widespread waste disposal problem, and its inaction pushed the residents of Taipei to protest, thus enacting change through laws and other government measures. Since then, the country became a leader in many aspects such as green initiatives as a result of effective public and private efforts. 

Leading in green innovation

To better arm itself in its bid for sustainable development, Taiwan has also adapted the Circular Economy model putting emphasis on maximizing resources while minimizing waste.

According to President Tsai Ing-Wen, Taiwan's development and push for the Circular Economy demonstrate that economic growth can go hand in hand with environmental protection and sustainability. With the model used as a guiding principle, the green mindset has flourished in many other facets of Taiwanese life.

Aside from strict garbage disposal laws, the Taiwanese government has recently passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, as well as amended its Air Pollution Control Act, with stronger measures to curtail air pollution and accelerate Taiwan's energy transition.

Also, the country created the National Climate Change Action Guidelines, which set emission caps and promote green finance initiatives.

Even in architecture, environmental consciousness permeates. One of its living examples is the iconic Taipei 101, which is hailed as one of the world's most innovative green structures. Another architectural marvel is the EcoARK Pavilion, a three-story exhibition hall built with 1.5 million interlocked plastic bottles instead of conventional bricks.

Taiwanese corporations have also found innovative ways to harness renewable energy and promote environmentally-friendly products and policies. In fact, Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has recently lauded the green efforts of several companies including Fuji Xerox Taiwan and Taiwan High-Speed Rail. On top of that, many products have been developed to help achieve Taiwan's green dream. To further promote recycling, Taipei residents are now using vending machines like iTrash booths to recycle cans and bottles in exchange for credit on their transportation smart cards. 

Taiwan Excellence awardee Kymco Motors is also leading the electronic motorbike revolution by developing all-electric scooters powered by swappable batteries, which effectively improves air quality. 

On the other hand, fellow awardee PaperShoot Camera is now offering a compact digital camera with a case made out of eco-friendly paper.

Meanwhile, Deya makes waves with its backpack line made from recycled materials including the Ocean Recycling Roll Function Backpack, whose fibers are spun from recycled ocean waste.

As a testament to its successful green innovations, the EPA told the press that around 11,000 environmentally-conscious stores throughout Taiwan sold NT$44.4 billion (PhP74.88 billion) worth of green products in 2017.

Future sustainability

Taiwan showed why they are a leading global force in terms of propelling the economy forward while balancing environmental interests. With much of the world burdened by fragile environmental issues, developing countries should emulate Taiwan's example, on how bold the steps they have taken to ensure sustainability and making it their top priority.

While other countries continue to debate adopting a greener approach to development, Taiwan is already thinking years into the future. As Taiwan continues to develop and sharpen its green ambition, it is making leaps and bounds to ensure future generations live their best lives.

To witness the future of Taiwan’s technologies, check out the Taiwan Excellence E-Sports Cup, happening 4-6 October 2019 in Metro Manila, and the Taiwan Expo on 8-9 November 2019 at SMX Convention Center Davao.

Author: slickmaster | © 2019 The SlickMaster's Files

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