Taiwanese companies should focus on environmental responsibility instead of concentrating on profits, the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance said yesterday as it unveiled its list of the biggest air and water polluters of last year at an “awards ceremony” in Taipei.
It said it identified the six biggest polluters by adding up fines that they paid for contravening the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法) and the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法).
The Environmental Protection Administration last year issued 1,853 fines for air pollution and 2,584 for water pollution.
Taiwan Hon Chuan Group — a beverage and plastic container manufacturer that has won a Ministry of Economic Affairs National Quality Award — was among the top air polluters, being fined a total of NT$20.3 million (US$651,001), the alliance said.
K&K Foods Ltd — a key supplier to McDonald’s Restaurants (Taiwan) Co — was found to have discharged sewage without proper treatment and was fined about NT$9.5 million, it said.
Chung Hwa Pulp Co was fined nearly NT$21.6 million for water pollution and NT$3.3 million for air pollution, yet it had previously won the Corporate Sustainability Award and the Asia Responsible Enterprise Award, the alliance said.
State-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan was fined about NT$3.6 million for air pollution and NT$2 million for polluting water, with most of its transgressions said to be the result of infrastructure problems, the alliance said.
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp — a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group — was fined NT$800,000 for air pollution, it said, but added that the nation’s sixth naphtha cracker, which is managed by the parent company, was the source of additional pollution in Yunlin County.
Chemicals supplier Sesoda Corp was fined NT$6.2 million for failing to control toxic emissions, such as hydrogen chloride, and many of its manufacturing instruments were operated without permits, the alliance said.
Other manufacturers and companies that faced fines of lesser amounts were published on the alliance’s Web site.
The awards are aimed at prompting the firms to improve their environmental management, alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) said, adding that the government should promote open data so people can supervise the progress the firms make.
The Kaohsiung City Government, which oversees the nation’s worst city for pollution, should place more emphasis on pollution control and industrial transformation, instead of just “fighting for the economy” as Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has pledged, the alliance said.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or