Wed, Oct 09, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Beach cleanups net over 6,000 tonnes of garbage

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

More than 6,020 tonnes of garbage were collected from the nation’s beaches and coastal waters in the third quarter, with the majority coming from Kaohsiung, data released yesterday by the Ocean Conservation Administration showed.

The marine trash was collected by divers hired by local governments, civic group volunteers and companies from July to last month.

Of the total collected, nearly 5,793 tonnes came from beaches, while 227 tonnes were collected from waters and sea floors near the shores, agency data showed.

The amount of trash collected was higher than those in the previous two quarters, as more groups joined the cleanup last month, agency section chief Hsu Chung-li (徐仲禮) said, adding that the agency funded local governments that applied for cleanup projects.

More than 1,965 tonnes of the garbage were collected from the shores in Kaohsiung, mainly used fishing nets and gears, followed by 1,544 tonnes from Yunlin County, 631 tonnes from Miaoli County and 555 tonnes from Pingtung County, agency data showed.

The agency said that 31.7 percent of the collected trash was recyclable: glass bottles (11.8 percent); plastic bottles (7.6 percent); waste paper (7.1 percent); iron cans ( 2.9 percent); and aluminum cans (2.3 percent).

Meanwhile, 68.3 percent of the trash was not recyclable: fishing nets or gears (18.3 percent); bamboo or wooden debris (13.7 percent were); Styrofoam products (6.4 percent); and unclassifiable trash (29.9 percent), the data showed.

The ratio of non-recyclable trash dropped to 93.1 percent in the first half of this year, agency data showed.

Due to the potential impact of marine trash on creatures in the ocean, fishers are encouraged to collect trash for recycling and get additional incentives, Hsu said.

Apart from encouraging people to produce less garbage, the agency is seeking channels to recycle used nets that pose a greater risk to marine life, he said.

Several businesses, including Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp, have expressed an interest in reusing nets to make textile fibers, but they are more willing to accept nets made of nylon, instead of mixed materials, he said, advising fishers to sort out and clean used nets before giving them to recyclers.

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