EU, Taiwan officials clean Taiwan beach to raise awareness

Hundreds of kilograms of marine waste was collected at the Waizewei Nature Reserve beach cleanup event in New Taipei City

A sea turtle formed from trash (EETO photo)

A sea turtle formed from trash (EETO photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As part of an initiative to raise public awareness of plastic waste in the ocean, Taiwan and European officials took part in a beach cleanup event on Saturday (Oct. 5) in New Taipei City, collecting hundreds of kilograms of waste.

“Cleaning beaches has an instant positive result, but we need to improve the system to combat marine pollution,” said Filip Grzegorzewski, head of the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO). Saturday’s event included staff and family members from EETO, the state representative offices in Taiwan of 11 European Union members, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

▶︎ European Union representative Filip Grzegorzewski (center) and Deputy Foreign Minster Kelly Hsieh (right) take part in a beach cleanup event on Oct. 5 (EETO photo)

A total number of 248 participants cleaned up 437.6 kg of trash and 369.2 kg of recyclable waste at the Waizewei Nature Reserve in New Taipei City’s Bali District, according to the EETO. The collected trash was made to form the shape of a sea turtle on the beach to convey the message that plastic waste is seriously harming the marine environment, the office added.

The beach cleanup is part of the 2019 EU Climate Action Week series of events that aim to raise public concern about climate change and encourage people to live a low carbon and plastic-reduced life. According to the EETO, more than 80 EU delegations are organizing beach cleanups and similar events across the globe from September to October this year.