Toxics 2020, 8(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8030048 - 07 Jul 2020
In the past two decades, the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management has become an important environmental issue internationally because it contained hazardous substances like heavy metals and brominated flame retardants. Moreover, some valuable substances were used in the electrical and electronic [...] Read more.
In the past two decades, the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management has become an important environmental issue internationally because it contained hazardous substances like heavy metals and brominated flame retardants. Moreover, some valuable substances were used in the electrical and electronic products, thus representing a circular industry for recycling of WEEE. Therefore, the Taiwan government formulated a legal WEEE recycling system since 1998 in response to the international trends of sustainable waste management and extended producer responsibility (EPR). This article adopted the national statistics in Taiwan regarding the online reporting amounts of collected WEEE since it has been officially designated as one of the mandatory recyclable wastes. Furthermore, the regulatory measures were addressed to update the status and subsidiary fee rates of WEEE recycling in Taiwan. In addition, this article also put emphasis on the regulations governing the toxic chemical substances contained in the WEEE. It showed that the average annual recycling amounts of home electronic appliances, information technology products and lighting in Taiwan during the 2017–2018 were around 117,000, 18,000 and 4500 metric tons, respectively. It was also indicated that the current WEEE recycling market in Taiwan has become saturated, reflecting the regulatory promulgation and promotional measures successfully. In response to the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Taiwan government declared some brominated flame retardants and heavy metals (i.e., mercury and cadmium) as a “toxic chemical substance” under the Toxic and Concerned Chemical Substance Control Act (TCCSCA), which shall be prohibited to use in the preparation of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) since 1 January 2016. Through the central governing authority, local governments, and private recyclers in Taiwan, the successful WEEE recycling system not only reduce the pressure on sanitary disposal systems, but also prevent the chemical hazards from solid waste incineration systems. More significantly, the WEEE recycling in Taiwan echoed the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030 for sustainable development goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic-Waste: Management and Challenges)►▼ Show Figures