The development of a circular economy is one of Taiwan’s stated national goals. In order to continue promoting the spirit of a circular economy, the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) held “Link and Loop: Sustainable Supply Chain Forum”. Kayla Wu, Global Program Manager in Sustainability Solutions of Polycarbonate Business Units for Covestro, was invited to share how Covestro implements a circular economy through comprehensive measures and to present successful cases under this concept. As a mentor of the circular materials group in the second phase of the conference, Kayla had face-to-face discussions and shared her expertise with domestic and international suppliers. Covestro’s strong vision to “be fully circular” aims to further the company’s goal of making the world a brighter place. With the great support from the Industrial Development Bureau, MoEA and Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, Covestro is currently looking for local partners in Taiwan, which so far has made good initial progress.
What is meant by “circular economy”? Most of the industries are composed of a linear economy that follows the production model of “take, make, dispose”. Although the manufacturing process of this kind of economic model is simple, it exhausts limited resources and shows negative impact on environment and human health. In comparison, a circular economy is a regenerative system that greatly reduces resource input and waste by slowing down the consumption of resource and closing the cycle loop. For example, if a certain industry uses bio-based or synthetic materials to make products, the concept of a circular economy will optimize the use of these products with higher quality and longer life. When these products made of synthetic materials have reached the end of their life cycle, they can be disassembled, and each part can be reused or recycled.
For example, Covestro has signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese bottled-water and beverage company Nongfu Spring and plastic-recycling company, to upcycle and reuse 19-liter polycarbonate water barrels to improve traceability and recycling quality. Through further processing, these barrels are transformed into high-performance recycled plastics for application in different industries such as the electronics, home appliances and automobile industries, extending the life of barrels that are no longer in use. To replicate the collaborative business model, with great support from Industrial Development Bureau, MoEA and Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, Covestro has made initial progress on cooperating with local partners in Taiwan.
“Covestro is thankful for the strong support from Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research. We believe that with the principle of ‘People, Planet and Profit’, Covestro could develop our business in more sustainable way. As an inventor of polycarbonates, we are committed to working with partners in the value chain to enable up cycling of polycarbonate products and thus foster a circular economy, realizing the vision of ‘We will be fully circular’ to make the world a brighter place” said Kayla Wu.