The approach of Typhoon Fanapi dampened participation in the annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) yesterday, but six of the country’s counties and cities were still able to mobilize cleanup efforts along their coasts.
Volunteers collected garbage on beaches in Taoyuan, Taichung, Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan counties and Kaohsiung City as part of efforts to protect the ocean from pollution, the organizer said.
Planned cleanup activities in eastern and northern Taiwan were postponed until next week or canceled because of the storm, it added.
Many countries are mobilizing cleanup efforts this weekend as part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health that traditionally takes place on the third Saturday in September.
Taiwan’s participation was organized by a local marine waste cleaning alliance formed by several nonprofit organizations such as the Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation (KOEF) and the Taiwan Environmental Information Center. ICC is associated with a beach-waste-monitoring program operated by the US-based Ocean Conservancy. Volunteers are asked to record the category and volume of trash they collect on beaches so researchers can work out solutions that will change the behavior contributing to marine trash, KOEF said.
In September last year, nearly half-a-million volunteers in 108 countries joined the ICC movement. Data they collected showed that 64 percent of the trash on beaches came from coastal leisure activities and daily life activities, 25 percent was related to smoking and 8 percent was created by boats.