Fishing Net

Source: Farming, Fishing

Sometimes on the beach, you may come across things such as buoys, floats, fishing nets and polystyrene. In fact, those items are commonly found in fisheries. For example, the oyster farming fisheries on the coast of Anping District in Tainan use large quantities of polystyrene. After the oyster harvesting season in June and July, you may see polystyrene debris scattered all along the coast.



Fishing Net


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!



Do Min Joon plastic cup


Heysong soda

Source: Landfill by river and sea

A portion of our garbage gets buried in landfills. In the past, landfill sites were chosen far from human communities. As a result, landfills were established in coastal areas and near rivers. In recent years, many landfill structures designed to contain waste have been unable to slow down the natural effects of erosion. As a result, rubbish and toxic chemicals escape into rivers and flow out to sea, especially during storms and natural disasters.



Heysong soda



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!






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?





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.



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 video of scientists pulling a plastic straw from the nostril of a sea turtle. We’ve also seen videos of them eating remnants of plastic bags. Sea turtles can’t tell the difference between real jellyfish and floating plastic bags. When plastic is consumed by sea turtles, it can’t be digested. As a result, it can’t be absorbed into their bodies and used for energy. The turtles will eventually weaken or die of starvation. Alarmingly, this situation is not unique to sea turtles. There are many animals in the sea, on land and flying in the sky that can’t tell the difference between garbage and nutritious food.

b. Dirty Environment

It’s a common misconception that only beaches popular with tourists are dirty. In fact, these beaches are cleaned up each morning before people arrive. Secluded beaches with few visitors are often overlooked, along with the trash that litters their sandy shores!

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?


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.


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?


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!