37,000 clean up 86 night markets

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Sep 30, 2013 - Page 3

More than 37,000 volunteers took to the areas around 86 night markets across the nation, collecting about 3,600 large bags of litter as part of the “2013 Clean Up the World” event yesterday.

Clean Up the World is a global campaign that attracts an estimated 35 million volunteers in more than 130 countries to join in community based cleanup events, and is held on the third weekend of September every year

The Good Neighbor Foundation began holding the annual event in Taiwan in 2001, and with the cooperation of several government agencies and corporate sponsors, it set this year’s theme as cleaning up night markets.

According to a joint survey between the foundation and the Global Views Monthly magazine conducted in July showed up to 88 percent of the respondents were willing to take their friends to night markets, however, 51.5 percent thought night markets were dirty or untidy.

The cleanup held at Taipei Shilin Night Market yesterday morning attracted more than 800 volunteers, working together to pick up plastic bags, bamboo skewers, cigarette butts, chewing gum and other litter. Volunteers also scrubbed and washed the ground with water.

Attending the event, Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) said the public should take littering seriously, because a lot of non-biodegradable trash ends up in the oceans and causes damage to the marine ecology.

Tourism Bureau Deputy Director General Wayne Liu (劉喜臨) said statistics showed that of about international 7.7 million visitors a year, an estimated 73 percent of them have visited night markets, making clean markets an important environment for visitors.