To mark Earth Day today, thousands of people nationwide yesterday joined cleanup efforts to promote the idea of reducing plastic use.
Established in 1970 by US environmentalists, Earth Day has become a global event celebrated annually on April 22, and this year’s theme is “End plastic pollution,” the US-based Earth Day Network said on its Web site.
Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) led about 1,000 people, including Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), to clean the city’s Syucuo Harbor (許厝港) and Jhuwei Fishing Harbor (竹圍漁港).
A total of 3.4 tonnes of garbage and 600kg of recyclable waste was gathered from the beaches, while 630.7kg of trash was collected in the harbors’ waters, with plastics constituting the majority of the garbage, the Taoyuan Department of Environmental Protection said.
Members of Kainan University, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), Ever Rich DFS Corp (昇恆昌), the ASE Cultural & Educational Foundation and other organizations contributed in the cleanups, the department said.
In Tainan, about 2,000 people collected 3.4 tonnes of garbage, including 2.8 tonnes of bamboo frames, and 600kg of recyclable waste, including 220kg of beverage cups and 180kg of plastic, at two of the city’s tourist attractions, the Tainan Environmental Protection Bureau said.
The Nantou Forest District Office mobilized more than 150 people to clean up Hehuanshan (合歡山), one of the nation’s highest mountains, with 700kg of trash collected and removed within three hours.
Hehuanshan is a popular scenic spot, but the garbage that visitors leave behind, such as snack packaging, plastic bags and polyethylene terephthalate bottles, have hurt the environment, office Deputy Director Chang Hsien-jen (張獻仁) said, urging visitors to take their garbage home to help protect forests.
The Taipei City Government held a fair at 44 South Village (四四南村), where vendors sold reusable products that can replace plastic ones.
The city government plans to hold a series of forums at five universities on reducing the use of plastic, with Plastics Industry Development Center manager Hsu Hsiang-jui (許祥瑞) to launch the events at the University of Taipei on May 7.
The Taichung and Kaohsiung city governments are to mark Earth Day with activities today at Taichung Metropolitan Park and a wetland park in Dashu District (大樹) respectively.
Additional reporting by CNA
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations