TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over 20 kilograms of trash was collected in two hours by volunteers during a beach clean-up event on the southern islet of Xiaoliuqiu.
Up to 50 volunteers hit the shores of Chong-ao (中澳) and Mei-ren Tung (美人洞) beaches Sunday (Jan. 9) to join the cleanup, according to CNA. The amassed piles of rubbish were sorted into five jumbo-sized garbage bags, with empty bottles and cigarette butts making up the majority of the junk.
Tsai Chun-chi (蔡俊吉), head of Taiwan Loo-Koo-Yu, an NGO focused on marine conservation, says the number of tourists visiting Xiaoliuqiu has swelled in recent years, which has put the local environment under enormous pressure. The news comes after recent reports that a large New Year’s Eve party held on Green Island left the island covered with bottles and cigarette butts.
Despite the specter of over-tourism, Tsai believes the locals' awareness about the importance of environmental protection is improving. He says that several years ago, 100 people could collect up to 1 ton of garbage from beaches on Xiaoliuqiu, indicating people are littering less than before.