Beach Cleaning – Wanlei District, Taiwan

It was cold and raining which can only mean one thing, beach cleaning day!!

Another great event organised by 陳信助 and joined by over 60 volunteers. We were all greeted by a mountain of trash!

The Beach

Wanli District is famous in Taiwan for the Yehliu Geopark and fishing. You would describe the beach as beautiful, rugged was probably a better description. Even so, the welcome we received was something I wasn’t prepared for. The coastline around this are has become overwhelmed by trash from the fishing industry and plastic washed down from the nearby cities.

Beach Cleaning

We arrived a little bit late due mainly to Google maps trying to redirect us via Outer Mongolia. At the beach, we were greeted by the ever busy, Chen (陳信助) from  Hands Love Taiwan (動 手 愛 台 灣) and around 60 volunteers, all ready to get started.

This time we were working on a small inlet, less than 100 sq.m,  which was adjacent to the fishing harbour. I have cleaned a lot of beaches in my time but nothing could compare me for what we found. It was 30 cm deep in polystyrene, discarding fishing tackle and other detritus. You find yourself digging, hoping that, eventually, you find sand. I never did!

After 2 hours and 8 full bags of trash, I had failed to clean my small area of 4 square meters. It was a little bit demoralising to see so much waste. Next time I think we need to bring a digger!

Still, 70 people and 2 hours later, we had managed to collect almost 1 tonne of trash. The majority of it was polystyrene from the nearby fishing port and thousands of fishing floats and damaged netting.

We had to finish at 11:00am just in time for the rain to start falling again and there was still so much to pick up.  We won’t give up though. Next time we will be back to finish the job!

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