The negative impact of climate change has attracted the attention of the international community and local groups. Most countries have successfully put forward declarations and actions for net-zero emissions by 2050. On World Earth Day in 2021, Taiwan officially announced the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The net-zero commitment will no longer stay at the national level but will be extended to cities, regions, enterprises, etc. In the 2021 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) analysis report of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the circular economy is listed as mitigation and adaptation strategies or priority areas for implementation.
In March 2022, the National Development Council officially announced "Taiwan’s 2050 Net-Zero Emission Pathway and Strategy", proposing five path plans, four transition strategies, and two governance foundations to promote technology, research, and innovation in key areas and guide the green transformation of the industry. For the 2050 net-zero transition, it proposes "12 Key Strategies", formulating action plans for important areas of expected growth in energy, industry, and life transformation policies, and implementing the goal of net-zero transition. In this project, we assist in planning key strategy 8, and combine it with the recycling project classification method of the " Office of Resource Circulation" of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Division of Renewable Resources Recycling and Reuse Promotion Committee, to assist in launching the corresponding promotion plan.
There are three main points in the project. First, strengthen the research and analysis of technologies and resource recycling, such as the development of potential waste treatment for renewable energy, and track the product life cycle with a digital product passport. Second, calculating the carbon reduction benefits of resource recycling policies based on the national net-zero carbon reduction trend can be used as a scientific basis for a policy decision. Finally, optimize the recycling material flow analysis, so that government agencies know the current recycling situation, which is a reference for decision-making adjustment. This is an important contribution for this year.
Besides, we continue to collect the promotion trend of the international circular economy and focus on the digital product passport launched by the European Union in this project. Through the establishment of the product digital passport model, the prototype of the system, the standardized record of the product life cycle, and tracer technology such as QR code, digital passport, and the system of material flow was established and data sharing with the domestic market information system. Currently, textiles and electronic and electrical products (including batteries) are the priority implementation items. For the recycling technology of key materials, it will focus on Horizon Europe's circular economy and bio-economy. The theme is the recycling of four major types of materials, and the development of renewable energy by waste recycling technology will be strengthened.
Carbon reduction is the most frequently discussed environmental benefit of the circular economy. Based on the input-output tables, we estimate the carbon reduction effect of the latest plastic packaging recycling plan in 2025 and 2030 and propose to establish a new three-in-one model and calculate the effect of carbon reduction. In addition, the United Nations currently promotes countries to establish data related to sustainable development goals. The planning and trial calculation of material footprint will be used as one of the indicators to demonstrate the circular economy.
In the project, the material flow analysis is used to refine the calculation methods for the cyclical use rate of the four major materials, consider the impact of imported secondary materials, and calculate the carbon reduction benefits of recycling paper, plastic, steel, rubber, etc. We will also adjust the resource circulation analysis system, including optimization of Sankey diagrams, adding annotations and teaching pages, etc. In addition, the functional structure of the system is re-planned and divided into three modules, namely resource distribution, recycling, and carbon reduction analysis to continuously improve practicality and user experience.
In addition, we will also update the circular economy-resource recycling website to make it richer and more hierarchical. We will continue to communicate and discuss with experts and scholars through the circular website, policy annual reports, and communication channels for special consultations and seminars to promote the future towards the goal of zero waste of resource recycling.