Environmental groups launch drive to cut use of plastics

Taipei, Two environmental protection organizations on Thursday launched campaigns to reduce the volume of disposable plastic containers in Taiwan.

Greenpeace, an NGO that focuses on environmental and human rights issues around the world, said it will consult with the country's six special municipalities to advocate for a reduction of disposable plastic and paper cups in road running events.

Last year, an estimated 4 million disposable plastic cups were used in Taiwan's 784 road running events, which each attracted 4,000-5,000 people, according to a Greenpeace survey.

In addition, 3 million plastic bags, numerous plastic bottles of water and about 3 million jerseys made of synthetic fabrics were handed out during the events, Greenpeace said.

The survey, conducted among 1,068 runners, found that 80 percent of them are aware of the impact of disposable plastic products on the environment, and 70 percent would be willing to take their own cups to athletic events, said Luo Ke-jung (???), a project manager of Greenpeace.

The survey also showed that 97 percent of athletes would support dispensing with disposable plastic cups and other products and would like to be given the option to decide whether to wear synthetic fabrics in competitions.

Meanwhile, over 90 percent of runners are in favor of incorporating the concept of environmental protection into road running events, and 85 percent think such actions will help improve the image of the six cities and their residents' sense of integrity, according to the survey.

Noting that most major road running events in Taiwan are held in the six special municipalities, Greenpeace said it will negotiate with the local governments on ways of making such events environmentally friendly.

Greenpeace said it has already held discussions with the Taipei City government on the issue in March.

Meanwhile, Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation said it will lobby 100 enterprises and organizations this year to support its campaign for discontinuing the use of disposable plastic containers.

So far, several entities have agreed to take the lead, including National Taiwan Normal University, Cathay Financial Holdings Co., Fubon Financial Holding Co., and Sogo department store chain, the foundation said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel