TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The environmental protection results of “Project Blue,” which aims to clean marine debris from beaches and the ocean, were released at a press conference on Friday (April 22).
The project, launched on Earth Day in 2020 by Business Today, gathered nearly 20 government and business entities as well as non-government organizations over the past two years. In its first year, it cleared 2,572 kilograms of marine debris over five beach cleaning events and made 2,440 pairs of eco-friendly blue-and-white slippers from 9,375 plastic bottles, Business Today reported.
The magazine’s publisher, Andy Liang (梁永煌) said the issue of marine debris has become a major environmental crisis that is almost as severe as climate change and requires systemic reform to solve. Through the magazine’s coverage of the topic, a pattern emerged: Taiwan’s tendency to build landfill sites on rural coasts leads to ocean pollution issues, and the government must address these issues through comprehensive plans.
Chen Chin-lan (陳金蘭), head of the Waste Management Section of the Changhua County Environment Protection Bureau, said the Changhua County Government began considering ways to make systemic changes after seeing Business Today reports on garbage being dumped at Dongluo River mouth, furnace dust gathering at Dadu River mouth, and a broken levee at the Fuxing Landfill that unearthed buried waste. Within a year, the bureau and a local town hall cleared 18.3 tons of combustible waste and attempted to prevent further illegal dumping by installing surveillance cameras.
However, due to a limited budget, the number of cameras installed was not enough to stop garbage dumping. The fact signifies the long journey the government has to take to better protect the environment.
Business Today head of research and development Jason Wang (王之杰) said that in the face of such a huge challenge that is ocean cleaning, more efforts and resources are required. While there was the exciting news that the New Taipei City Government is planning to add eight vessels to join the effort, he urged more people and organizations to join the fight.
Businesses join a beach cleaning event in New Taipei City. (Business Today photo)
Government and business entities as well as NGOs have joined Project Blue. (Business Today)