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Taiwan's Fubon and Miniwiz turn surgical masks into phone chargers

Fubon Financial Holding teamed up with Miniwiz as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations

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Miniwiz founder Arthur Huang is turning used surgical and face masks into phone chargers. (Taiwan News photo, Lyla Liu)

Miniwiz founder Arthur Huang is turning used surgical and face masks into phone chargers. (Taiwan News photo, Lyla Liu)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Fubon Financial Holding Co. and Miniwiz are working together to make phone chargers out of recycled surgical masks to achieve the goal of a circular economy.

As part of Fubon Financial Holding's 60th anniversary, it teamed up with Taiwan’s Miniwiz, an eco-friendly company that upcycles waste into construction and consumer products. On this occasion, it made phone chargers out of recycled face masks.

Fubon Financial Holding Chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) said the company noticed that medical waste has become a huge problem worldwide. He pointed to surgical and face masks, in particular.

With innovative technologies developed by Miniwiz, they set up recycling spots at Fubon’s office buildings to collect unwanted face masks. They then converted them into colorful phone chargers as an anniversary gift for employees.

Tsai said he hopes the exercise will teach the public about sustainability and how it benefits the environment. He also wants to raise awareness of electricity utilization through using the charging products.

Miniwiz has won international acclaim for its recycled and upcycled products. The company founder Arthur Huang (黃謙智) was also featured in the documentary, "Going Circular."

“Every three minutes we can make a charger out of face masks that can reduce waste,” said Huang. “Transforming local waste into a valuable product is the ultimate goal.”

Because of the pandemic, the fabrication process has become more automated using an AI recycling system called "ROBIN" and a "mini TRASHPRESSO." The entrepreneur referenced the Disney animation “WALL-E” as an example, “The image of a robot with big eyes collecting trash and remaking it into something useful is a big deal for every engineer.”

Huang said that if people continue to overconsume natural resources and produce too much waste, a dystopia is not far away.

Taiwan's Fubon and Miniwiz turn surgical masks into phone chargers
MINIWIZ engineer makes chargers. (Taiwan News photo, Lyla Liu)

Taiwan's Fubon and Miniwiz turn surgical masks into phone chargers
Phone chargers made of recycled surgical masks at Songshan Cultural Creative Park on Friday (Dec. 24.) (Taiwan News photo, Lyla Liu)