According to Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Liuqiu Island has introduced water dispensers and rolled out a reusable cup-share program in February as part of an ongoing effort to mitigate the adverse effects of tourism on the island.WebSite(Open In New Window)
The beautiful scenery on Liuqiu, a coral island off the coast of Pingtung County, attracts a large number of tourists every year, but the increasing number of visitors has also had a negative impact on the local environment, most noticeably an increase in plastic waste.
As part of an effort to reduce the sale of plastic water bottles on the island, the EPA teamed up with Pingtung County Government to install 10 water dispensers in nine locations, mostly in sightseeing areas, the EPA said at a press conference.
The water dispersers are equipped with a display that shows the accumulated amount of water dispensed and figures since February indicate that the equivalent of 30,000 600-millimeter plastic bottles of water have been consumed.
Officials believe the water dispersers are likely to discourage the purchase of bottled water, but the EPA has so far produced no data to indicate the extent to which the two factors are correlated.
Tourists can also rent reusable cups from 19 rental points and there are 23 return points across the island, according to Chang Hsin-yi, a shop operator who participates in the reusable cup-share program.
Reusable cups have been rented out about 5,000 times since February, according to EPA data.
Source: Focus Taiwan