Why Should We Collect the Data?
Lots of people are wondering why bothers to count every piece of litter picked up from the beach. If we don’t do so, we are unable to discover how serious the problem is. The cleanup is conducted once a month regularly and we discover that different kinds of liter would be washed on shore during different seasons. Sometimes there are great numbers of plastic bags from the sea, and they are broken into tiny pieces. Sometimes many oyster racks are washed on shore, then the Styrofoam. Particularly, disposable plastic and Styrofoam beverage cups are many in numbers after torrential rain. What’s more, glass beverage bottles, especially energy drinks, are many in numbers year-round. After several typhoons hit Taiwan in the summer of 2008, great amount of liter was washed on shore including countless tiny plastic particles, which were drifting in the ocean for long.
We observe some phenomena that needs everyone’s attention from the data we collect,
1. Land based litter flows in great amount from river to the sea, particularly after torrential rain.
2. Litter at the estuary is various, and mostly it is from the households. Number one litter is disposable beverage cups, including Styrofoam cups, plastic cups, plastic beverage bottles, and glass beverage bottles. Glass beverage bottles are always many in numbers, particularly energy drinks. Environmental Protection Administration should come up with better recycle policy and limit the use of them. Styrofoam is always the number one litter at the Erhjen Creek, mostly used for fishery purpose. After the oysters grow and reaped in the sea, the Styrofoam debris increases rapidly. Autonomy Regulations of Oyster Farming in Tainan was implemented in 2008, and we should urge the government to carry out the regulations thoroughly to mitigate the Styrofoam pollution. Styrofoam isn’t recycled properly, particularly the Styrofoam beverage cups. The Tainan coast is largely covered by the pollution. Medical hygiene was also in great amount before, such as medical glass bottles and syringes. Recently the numbers of them are less, but they are still found regularly on the beach.
3. Another serious problem we found is that the beach we used to clean up is disappearing. This beach, hundreds meters in length and two meters in height, disappeared in only two years. We wonder what the cause is, climate change or the newly harbor construction? We do not know yet. However, we do know that the sea current has changed, the landscape has changed, and our beach has disappeared.