Why is Taiwan increasing its imports of plastic waste?

I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko asks government officials to explain

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Why is Taiwan increasing its imports of plastic waste? (Photos courtesy of Environmental Protection and Food Safety Volunteers Facebook page).

Why is Taiwan increasing its imports of plastic waste? (Photos courtesy of Environmental Protection and Food Safety Volunteers Facebook page).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As China banned the import of plastic trash this year, Taiwan saw a marked increase in foreign garbage entering the country, leading I-Mei Foods Co. (義美食品) CEO Luis Ko (高志明) to question why the government allowed this to happen, causing the income of low-income elderly people to shrink significantly.

Government officials should value the efforts to keep the living environment clean made by these underprivileged, elderly, low-income "powerless and voiceless" grannies and grandpas, Ko wrote on his Facebook page Monday.

Government officials should also come out and explain under what kind of policy Taiwan should import garbage, especially since a majority could also become a source of pollution for residents’ health and quality of life, and for the environment.

At the end of his post, Ko asks for reactions if anything he wrote was wrong. If the policy was wrong or negligent, the government should explain and apologize, admit errors and make up for them, instead of inventing all kinds of excuses.

On the “Environmental Protection and Food Safety Volunteers” Facebook page, Ko noted the following points:

1/ Have government officials really never seen the contributions in each city and village in Taiwan made by underprivileged, elderly, low-income “powerless and voiceless” grannies and grandpas buying scrap iron and old paper to maintain the cleanliness of residents’ living environment?

2/ Taiwan bans the felling of trees, so it has to import waste paper as an expensive raw material for its paper and pulp industry, but nobody has protested against this policy which has been in place for decades.

Other “neutral” waste products imported to turn into essential raw materials have not met with resistance either.

3/ Taiwan should not disdain the world’s technology to handle massive amounts of garbage. Many businesses in Taiwan face problems with the disposal of trash, while there is not enough space for the disposal, so why allow imports to increase?

4/ No matter how good the waste disposal technology, there will always be a problem with residue, so where will the waste be disposed of?

5/ When the import of waste is increased, there will certainly be a beneficiary, so when the space for underprivileged, elderly, low-income “powerless and voiceless” grannies and grandpas shrinks, the beneficiaries should produce some of their profit and compensate those who suffer.

6/ A large majority of waste products are likely to cause pollution, so their production, handling and end destination will have an impact on the quality of life, environment and future health of all residents of Taiwan. What kind of policy reason dictates that Taiwan should increase its imports of waste? Government officials from relevant departments should come out and explain clearly.

7/ “If anything I wrote was wrong, please react.” “If the policy was wrong or negligent, the government should explain and apologize, admit errors and make up for them immediately.” “Do not come up with all kinds of excuses.”