With a dense population but limited resources, the rapid economic growth in Taiwan has brought in a serious waste disposal problem that not only annihilates the quality of the environment but also rips of our right for a comfort living. Confronted by global warming, climate change, and the gradually depleted earth resources, at this stage, we have no choice but must take immediate actions in effectively minimizing waste production, making a good use of our finite resources and energy, and eventually, building up a sustainable community.
Take waste disposal approaches adopted by the most advanced countries in the world as an example, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in recent years has investigated the domestic waste disposal management. Now EPA has abandoned the traditional waste disposal management approach and switched its emphasis from end-of-pipe control such as incineration and landfill to front-end management—reduce, recycle, and reuse. EPA has also been working on minimizing resource exhaustion and suppressing waste source production. Furthermore, to realize its vision of a zero waste disposal, EPA has been encouraging the corporations to participate in ecological design to maximize resource recycling while minimize waste production. In sum, the direction of EPA management has shifted toward a sustainable resource recycling.
In addition, EPA has set up a sustainable waste disposal management outlook, launching the zero waste disposal policy for general wastes and industrial wastes respectively. Its waste management has gradually advanced from giving a sound handling at the end side toward prioritizing on source minimization. In areas where source minimization is not applicable, a reuse or recycle approach is adopted to promote waste reduction, toxics reduction, and green consumption to facilitate resource recycle and reuse, and ultimately, to build up a sustainable, zero waste community. Meanwhile, because the zero waste disposal policy in Taiwan, including waste source minimization and resource recycle, is closely related to the everyday life of the people, this project has set up multiple dissemination channels, including TV, magazines, outdoor advertisements, website marketing, press conferences, special event planning, and more.
For TV, a promotional short film “Construct Resource Recycling for a Sustainable Living” had been prepared, illustrating the importance of waste source minimization, resource recycle, and resource reuse. This film narrated that establishing a recycle, sustainable community is our responsibility and we can make it. There were two more 30-sec promotional short films “Using Reusable Chopsticks is Environmental Friendly and Frugal” and “Cherish Our Earth, Cherish Our Future,” which were both easy and comprehensible. These two films introduced the concept that a recycling community was a global trend, and sent important messages related to our everyday life, such as some department stores, warehouse clubs, food courts, as well as the four major convenient stores have now all joined the activity of not offering disposable chopsticks without request. These films were intensely broadcasted by over-the-air and cable TV stations as well as outdoor advertisements. As for the magazines, the two most well-known magazines in Taiwan, Global Views Monthly and Common Wealth Magazine, had, as in their usual intellectual and rational appeal, reported about the significance of waste source minimization in these two articles “Zillions of Green Actions: Sustainable Material Management and Recycling Community; Change Yourself and Be the Environmental Hero” and “Taiwan Outlook, Create Our Future,” respectively.
For website marketing, the “3R: Resource, Recycle and Sustainable Reuse” website was created for the purpose. It had web banners run on major search engines (including Yahoo. MSN, Google, Sina, PCHome) bringing in more than 100 million people to the website.
For press conferences, two conferences had been held; one was “Make Reusable Chopsticks Your Fashion Statement” and the other was “Reduce Disposable Cups for a Better Environment.” From these two conferences, over 99 media had released a total of more than 203 pieces of messages to the public.
As for the special event planning, Taiwan Television Enterprise, Ltd. had initiated a collaborative project called “Get Shopping Discount from Joining Environmental Protection” with 11 department stores and 2 franchise supermarkets. In this event, people who shopped in those stores with reusable shopping bags were given bonus points or cash rewards.