To encourage citizens to reduce plastic use while traveling and support sustainable tourism, the EPA held the “Bring Your Own Water Bottle to Penghu Fireworks Festival – Travel Green on Gaillardia Island” press conference on 24 August 2020 at Penghu County Government Hall. During the press conference, the EPA recommended travelers to take advantage of the drinking fountains and smart recycling bins on the island as a way to go green while travelling. Travelers were also advised to bring their own toiletries and reusable tableware, and travel in the most environmentally friendly way to protect the natural resources on the outlying island.
The EPA has been implementing the Plastic-Free and Low-Carbon Island Demonstration Project on Xiaoliuqiu, Pingtung County since 2018, and it has produced significant results. With tourists bringing their own water bottles, and assuming each bottle has a 600 ml capacity, roughly 400,000 plastic bottles have been prevented from being wasted over the past two years. Duplicating the experience of implementing the drinking fountain project in Xiaoliuqiu, the EPA cooperated with Penghu County Government this year to install 15 drinking fountains at 13 sightseeing spots. It also worked with private companies to include the locations of these drinking fountains in the Water Refill Map app to provide tourists with a convenient way to stay hydrated during travel.
Marine debris near Penghu County has always been an issue of public concern. Thanks to all the beach cleanups Penghu County Government has held, the beauty of Penghu coastlines has been well kept. In addition to the subsidies provided to Penghu County Government for the installation of 15 drinking fountains this year, the EPA also subsidized the installation of five smart recycling bins to offer more recycling channels for tourists to discard their plastic bottles and cups. These policies are to encourage tourists to live out the “eat local, play local and protect local” green lifestyle principles while travelling. Penghu attracts a large number of tourists with its naturally blessed basalt landscape and everchanging international festivals. Hence, the EPA stresses that Penghu’s rare environmental makeup and natural resources should be properly protected by everyone.
To encourage the public to take advantage of the drinking fountains, the EPA has launched the “Island jumping with your water bottles” promotion program this year. Travelers can use their cellphones to scan a QR code while visiting Xiaoliuqiu and Penghu and operate the drinking fountains onsite. They will receive 1,000 green points with the use of each fountain and can receive up to 25,000 points.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (9)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)