#049

Fishing Net

Source: Farming, Fishing

Sometimes on the beach, you may come across apparatus such as buoys, floats, fishing nets and polystyrene laying about on the beach. In fact, all of those items are very commonly found in fisheries. As an example, the fisheries at the coast of Anping County at Tainan use large numbers of polystyrene during oyster harvesting season during June and July, As a result, during this period, you may see polystyrene debris scattered all along the coast.


#049

漁網

Fishing Net

#032

Do Min Joon plastic cup

Source: Exotic Floating Trash

In our geography textbooks, we’ve been taught that monsoon and ocean currents change along with the seasons. Of course, this means garbage from different places will also float over with the change in seasons. For example, along the North Coast, northeast monsoons will cause ocean debris to be carried from China and South Korea to Taiwan. In fact, if you closely observe any barcodes on the rubbish, you can tell where it came from!


#032

都教授飲料杯

Do Min Joon plastic cup

#007

Heysong soda

Source: Landfill by river and sea

A portion of our garbage enters landfill, however, if a landfill is poorly managed, the buried rubbish is prone to being dragged out into our environment during natural disasters like typhoons and storms. In the past, early landfill sites were chosen away from human communities, which resulted in rubbish being buried at coastal fringes and rivers. Unfortunately, even artificial manmade constructions have been unable to abate the natural effects of erosion, leading to the buried garbage constantly being pulled out to sea.


#007

古早黑松汽水

Heysong soda

#037

Flip-flops

Source: Seaside Recreation

Popular beaches nearby tourist locations are always bustling with activity, which directly results in rubbish being scattered haphazardly all over the place. Polystyrene cups, plastic bags, takeaway containers and even slippers are often seen dotting the beach. Evidently, the goal of reducing litter and properly disposing of trash has not yet been successful.


Let’s all continue working hard towards that goal!


#037

斷掉夾腳拖

flip-flops

#018

Brick

Source: Illegal dumping of waste

Sometimes near the coast you may notice abandoned building materials, used tires and other such worthless items. They are most likely illegally dumped by immoral contractors into nature’s free garbage bin.


After all, don’t you think it’s unlikely someone would accidentally lose a tire while playing at the beach?


#018

磚頭

brick

#063

Cotton swab

Source: Urban Environment

Even when local waste management is done well, garbage will always find its way into the natural environment through society’s everyday habits. For instance, we often see smokers throwing their butts into a stormwater drain. At first glance, it doesn’t appear too alarming, until you realize the stormwater drain doesn’t go through sewerage maintenance, so the cigarette butt is flushed into a river, then straight into the sea.


#063

棉花棒

cotton swab

Where Does Marine
Debris Come From?

01. Marine debris, where did you come from?

Have you ever wondered where marine debris come from?

Whenever you visit the beach to play or participate in beach clean-ups, you’re bound to find junk that doesn’t belong in nature. These bits and pieces all hide little clues telling you how it got there.

If you’re still interested, just click on the pictures below to find out more!


02. The Negative Impacts of Marine Debris

a. Death by eating or twining

We’ve all tearfully watched the videos of sea turtles with plastic straws stuck through their nostrils and eating plastic waste. Sea turtles have no sense of taste, and they do not have great vision, so anything moving in the water will satisfy its hunger. Although after ingesting plastic which can’t be digested and become nutrients for energy, the turtles will eventually weaken or die of starvation. Alarmingly, this is not an unique case. There are many animals in the sea, land and sky that can’t discern the difference between garbage and food.

b. Dirty Environment

There’s a common misconception that beaches popular with tourists are dirty, because the opposite is true! The crowded beaches must be cleaned up before more people arrive the following day. Conversely, beaches with unremarkable names with few visitors are often left alone and forgotten (along with the trash!).

c. The Ecosystem of Ocean

Coral bleaching and withering seaweeds are direct results of marine debris littering the ocean floors, as well as floating waste blocking sunlight.


03. What can I do about it?

Rethink

What happens to all the rubbish we create?
Garbage that has passed through the incinerator becomes ash which joins the landfill. Garbage swept off to sea will undoubtedly outlive its creators. Finally, garbage ingested by wildlife will eventually come full circle, and back to our dining table. The rubbish we create does not simply disappear; it merely changes appearance and continues living on as an everlasting reminder.

Reduce

In the name of convenience, human beings have become mindless consumers of disposable plastic waste, including straws, plastic bags and plastic containers. Each, and every day, humans generate waste which needn’t even exist.
Take the straw for example, could we not simply bring the cup to our mouths?

Replace

Many people will ask: what should I do?
Fortunately, there’s really no shortage of methods, and some are even likely to be close by! You need only look at the right places. Everyone has sustainable products all around them, from sustainable cups, to chopsticks and even meal containers. Just don't forget to bring them out with you!

We don’t need to stop at rethinking, we can also exercise moderation and look for alternatives. Feel free to give us any solutions and be sure to participate in the beach cleanup. Lets clean up our Mother Earth, one beach at a time!

Action

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