Taiwanese case – Recycling on the island

As an small island on the west Pacific Ocean, Taiwan is barely seen by the world economically or diplomatically, but when it comes to the MSW ( Municipal Solid Waste ) competition, Taiwan has been ranked 2nd place. Working so hard on recycling, Taiwan won over most of the western European countries except Germany, who was ranked 1st place in the annual report in 2016.


First of all, I would like to start with the principles or you could also call them slogans, which Taiwanese government has taken Into practice – 6R.

What does 6R stand for?

  • Reduction
  • Reuse
  • Recycling
  • Energy Recovery
  • Land Reclamtion
  • Redesign

Photo credits: Country Reports

There’s no difficulty noticing that the government highlight the “re” very much, and it conveys that most of the resources are limited, so that we, the human being, should take actions to make the situation slow down by cherishing the resources and coming up with solutions to decrease wastes.

Secondly, I know it’s not convincing if there are only slogans, let’s dig in more deeply.
In Taiwan, on average, every person produces 0.4 kg of waste per day, which is much less than 1.2 kg on average around the world. Let me list out some statistiques of other countries: New Zealand (3.68kg), Ireland (3.58kg), Norway (2.80kg), Switzerland (2.61kg) and the United States (2.58kg), these were the top five producers in the developed world. Besides, in Taiwan, the recycling rate of industrial waste is up to 80%.

Let me tell you about how Taiwanese do recycle in their daily lives:

(1) They separate every piece of trash into recyclable and non-recyclable, this is not the end. For recyclable trash, they have bins for plastic-made stuff, plastic bags, glass, aluminum stuff, and paper, so it’s never an easy thing when you want to throw away a glass-bottled beer with an aluminum lid put in a plastic bag.
The photo below shows different kinds of trash, including paper, iron and aluminum can, trash (non-recyclable), plastic, recycling (some lazy people only put this one for all recyclable trash), glass, pet bottle, and aluminum foil pack.


Photo credits: hvsoper

(2) There would be two garbage truck with the soundtrack of The Maiden’s Prayer passing by residential areas to collect garbages. One is for recyclable garbages, and the other is for non-recyclable garbages. R0011034-1000x750
Photo credits: About 90’s

Small as Taiwan is, it still strives for making the world a better one, or more specifically, decreasing the pace of the catastrophe from happening …

You have no more right to be an outsider, every piece of your effort could help the nature, the human being, and the world stay sustainable. Take actions with us!



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