'Blue Circle' gives new life to marine waste

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-15

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The "Blue Circle" marine waste management model has found renewed attention in the spotlight as it was recently listed among the exceptional model cases by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

The "Blue Circle" initiative, originating from Jiaojiang in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, has gained international recognition for its success in collecting and recycling marine waste. It was honored with the United Nations' Champions of the Earth award in 2023.

The initiative involves various participants, including fishermen like Cao Junfu, who engages in disposing of oily wastewater generated during fishing activities. He simply needs to apply for collection services online, and workers will come in just half an hour to remove the waste.

"In recent years, I have made it a habit to bring the marine waste back for collection. It can not only increase my credit rating, but also bring me policy dividends," said Cao.

Taizhou has also established collection and storage stations for marine pollutants, where elderly scavengers bring plastic waste collected from the shoreline.

Kong Chen, head of a station on Dachen Island, said, "Each of the scavengers is equipped with a video recorder or smart bracelet to ensure that the waste is collected within three kilometers of the coastline. The waste is purchased for about double the market price of ordinary plastic."

With 9,987 vessels and over 6,000 individuals participating in the initiative, significant progress has been made in marine waste management. A total of 13,200 metric tons of marine waste have been collected and treated, including 2,664 tons of plastic waste, reducing carbon emissions by about 3,460 tons.