Taiwan’s 2nd ICC in 2010 a larger event

“Environmental groups to launch nationwide coastal cleanup Sept. 18,” by Lee Hsien-feng and Sofia Wu. CNA (Focus Taiwan), 03 Sep 2010.

“Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) Coastal cleanup activities will be held around Taiwan Sept. 18 in support of a global ocean conservation campaign, major local environmental groups said Friday.

The advocacy groups, including the Taiwan Environmental Information Association, the Society of Wilderness (SOW) and the Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation, said environmentally conscious people are welcome to take part in the coastal cleanup program.

Quantitative data concerning trash to be picked up from coastal regions around Taiwan that day will be sent to the headquarters of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) in Texas, said an SOW spokesman.

The ICC has evolved from a single cleanup on a Texas beach 25 years ago into a worldwide movement dedicated to ending the threat of trash in oceans around the globe, the spokesman said.

Every year in September, volunteers in more than 100 countries remove millions of pounds of trash from beaches and waterways all over the world as part of the global volunteer effort for ocean conservation, he added.

According to the spokesman, the biggest difference between the ICC’s activities and other similar programs is that the ICC provides a form to record what was found in the cleanup.

“The trash and debris collected from the world’s beaches and waterways will be documented for analysis to identify their sources,” the spokesman said.

The ICC campaign, he said, is aimed at reminding the public of the gravity of ocean pollution and changing the behavior that allows trash and debris to reach the ocean in the first place.

Taiwan joined the ICC campaign last year for the first time, with 370 volunteers taking part in a 2.12-kilometer coastal cleanup effort that removed 172 kilograms of trash from beaches and coastal waters, the spokesman said.

This year, the spokesman said, all of the SOW branches in various parts of Taiwan will launch a coastal cleanup on Sept. 18, along with environmental groups in many other countries, including Australia.

“Prospective volunteers are welcome to search the SOW map to find a coastal site near them and sign up online (at www.sow.org.tw) for the activity,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the Kuroshio Ocean Education Foundation will document all the trash collected in Taiwan during the period and furnish the data to the ICC headquarters.”

“The Majestic Plastic Bag”

The Majestic Plastic Bag” – Heal the Bay, 2010.

This article explains the motivation behind the video: “Heal The Bay releases mockumentary promoting legislation banning plastic bags in California,” by Steve La. LA Weekly Blogs, 16 Aug 2010.

A mockumentary released today by Heal the Bay aims to promote the passage of AB 1998, a state measure that would ban the single-use of plastic bags in retail stores in California, according to a release by the nonprofit.

Actor Jeremy Irons narrated the four-minute piece, dubbed “The Majestic Plastic Bag,” that follows a plastic bag’s journey from a supermarket parking lot to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean.

The short film delivers a message of environmental conservation wrapped in comedic satire.

“Rather than lecturing the audience, we wanted to create a film that would capture people’s attention with humor,” stated Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. “At the same time, we saw this as subversive way to make viewers realize the serious, far-reaching problem of single-use plastic bag pollution.

Around 19 billion plastic bags are used by Californians that amount to 123,000 tons of waste. Many bags end up in the ocean with less than five percent being recycled, according to Heal the Bay.

The bill is scheduled for a floor vote in the California Senate at the end of August. Governor Arnold Schwarzennegar has expressed support for it. If passed, California would be the first state to ban single-use plastic bags at retail locations.

Update, 31 Aug 2010 – “the state Senate failed Tuesday night, August 31, 2010, to approve AB 1998, the Heal the Bay-sponsored bill that would have barred the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags at grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies statewide.” More at Heal the Bay.

Thanks to Tan Kai Xin for highlighting this on facebook earlier!