Current Situation of Sustainable and Recycle Packaging in Taiwan

According to EPA (Environmental Protection Administration), the domestic logistic industry is growing yearly in a rapid rate, from 27 billion NTD in 2012 to 32 billion NTD in 2016. In 2020, the total revenue of E-commerce industry in Taiwan reached 297 billion NTD, which can be assumed that over 100 million packaging boxes were used for logistic industry. The waste created in the logistic industry, such as packaging materials, wrapping materials, buffering, and taping, has caused serious problems to the earth environment.

Issues such as oversized plastic waste in ocean, and the risk of running out of landfills, are drawing people’s attention toward sustainable packaging around the world. Increasing online shopping using e-commerce platforms, due to consumers’ changing shopping preferences as well the prevailing pandemic of Covid-19, the problem of oversized package waste has been taken seriously in many countries. The United States, the European Unions, and countries from the United Nations, have conducted several guidelines to deal with this issue, while Taiwanese government is also making some efforts tackling the problems. They launch out guidelines, labels, and collaborate with a company of packaging industry, Package+, it seems that with so many efforts being done taking other countries experiences as reference, the package waste should have been dramatically reduced. However, the reality does not fulfill the reduction goal set by Taiwanese government.

The following questions will be discussed in the paper. Why are guidelines and labels not working in Taiwan? What are the differences between the guidelines in Taiwan and in other countries? Why does RePack, a Finnish sustainable packaging company, succeed in the European market, while Package+, a Taiwanese sustainable packaging company, does not work so well?

Pei-Tsz Sun

A Research Fellow in Value Chain Analysis