Public perception of issues & policies on plastic marine pollution in Taiwan’s coastal communities

Public perception of issues and policies regarding plastic pollution in Taiwan's coastal communities

Jacqueline Brebeck

Brebeck Taiwan PlasticSource: ofthebox.org

The abundance and longevity of plastic pollution in our oceans is a pressing global issue. In addition to harming marine animals, plastic marine pollution harms humans through contributing to climate change, reducing food and income in coastal communities, and increasing health risks. Understanding what motivates the human behavior that creates this issue is essential to designing successful mitigation strategies.

In my research, I explored the public perception of issues and policies regarding plastic marine pollution in coastal communities of Northeast Taiwan. Research was conducted through 40 semi-structured interviews in two coastal locations in Northeast Taiwan. Theme analysis of these interviews revealed insights such as widespread awareness of the plastic marine pollution issue.

Additionally, the main reasons people were concerned about plastic marine pollution were related to economic loss. Perceptions of actions to reduce marine plastic pollution varied among the sites. Few drew connections from the local pollution problems to global impacts. The hope of this study was to inform and spark more successful attempts at reducing the amount of plastic marine pollution in coastal communities. I also made recommendations of policy/NGO initiatives that the results indicated could be accepted and effective in the coastal communities of Northeast Taiwan.