EPA and EU mission in Taipei join for beach cleanup

10/05/2019 05:14 PM
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Image taken from the EETO
Image taken from the EETO's Facebook page

Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) cleaned up the coast of Wazihwei (挖子尾) Nature Reserve in New Taipei on Saturday to make a statement about marine plastic pollution, the EETO said.

A total of 248 volunteers, including the staff and family members of the EPA, the EETO, and European Union member state offices, and New Taipei residents cleaned up 437.6 kilograms of trash and 369.2 kg of recyclable waste, according to the EETO's Facebook post.

Image from EETO's Facebook page

The participants used the trash collected to form the shape of a gigantic sea turtle on the beach of Wazihwei to raise public awareness of the devastating effects of plastic waste on marine ecology, the EETO said.

"Cleaning beaches has an instant positive result, but we need to improve the system to combat marine pollution," EETO chief Filip Grzegorzewski said.

He was mainly referring to the EU's Plastic Strategy published in 2018 that banned select single-use plastic products and asked plastic producers to share the cost of cleaning up and processing waste.

"We hope that one day we will not need to organize any beach cleanup," Grzegorzewski said.

Shen Chih-hsiu and Filip Grzegorzewski (Image from EETO's Facebook page)

Deputy environmental chief Shen Chih-hsiu (沈志修), who took part in the event to support the cause, thanked the EETO for its help in maintaining Wazihwei beach regularly since 2018.

The EPA official also urged the public to take action and reduce its use of plastics to prevent the ocean from being overrun with trash.

The world produces 8 million tons of marine litter every year, Shen said, and he warned there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 based on current estimates.

Image from EETO's Facebook page

The beach cleanup on Saturday was part of the "2019 EU Climate Action Week," held to address the threat of global warming and the importance of environmental protection.

Prior to Saturday, more than 80 EU delegations around the world organized beach cleanups from September to October, according to the EETO.

(By Chi Jo-yao and Wang Chao-yu)


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