Clean-up campaigns held around Taiwan ahead of Earth Day

Cleaning up ahead of Earth Day.

Cleaning up ahead of Earth Day. (CNA photo)

Taipei, April 21 (CNA) Several metric tons of trash were cleared from beaches and mountains in Taiwan Saturday, a day ahead of Earth Day.

The Environmental Protection Bureau of Penghu County mobilized over 750 state-owned company employees, coast guard personnel, volunteers and community members to clean 1.3 kilometers of beach on the offshore county.

Within two hours, they removed close to 10 metric tons of garbage, waste and driftwood from a beach in Penghu's Longmen.

Penghu Magistrate Chen Kuang-fu, who attended the event, said marine waste has become a global problem and that Penghu residents have worked hard to maintain their environment.

But it is not easy because Penghu is an archipelago of 90 islands, 19 of them inhabited, and has a coastline of 380 km, Chen noted.

The clean-up campaign in Penghu was part of a series of events organized before the county hosts the Most Beautiful Bays in the World conference in September and October this year. The France-based Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club, a UNESCO-sponsored NGO, approved the islands as a member in 2012.

Meanwhile, in southern Taiwan's Tainan, 2,000 people led by the city's Environmental Protection Bureau cleared 3.4 metric tons of trash from the Golden Coast and the Sunset Platform in the city's Anping District.

The Nantou Forest District Office also mobilized over 150 people to clean up Hehuanshan, one of Taiwan's highest mountains.

A total of 700 kg of trash were collected and removed within three hours.

Chang Hsien-jen, deputy director of the office, said Hehuanshan is a popular scenic spot with many visitors each year, but the garbage they leave behind, such as snack packaging, plastic bags and PET bottles, have hurt the environment.

Chang urged visitors to take their garbage home with them to help protect the forests. (By Christie Chen)