Pingxi’s new sky lantern scene – residents recycling for household necessities

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Though New Taipei City’s Pingxi is a famous domestic tourist spot, the release of sky lanterns is causing some serious local environmental pollution. Recently, the government launched a program called “Recycled Sky Lanterns for Household Necessities,” not only attracting the enthusiastic participation of local people and spurring an atmosphere of recycling but also greatly reducing unsightly trash in the area. Through the program, locals can recycle sky lanterns and exchange them for household necessities, killing two birds with one stone. 

Over the last few years, Pingxi’s Shifen Village has formulated a new recycling initiative, in which the inner bamboo frame of recycled sky lanterns can be sold back to vendors for cash and the paper can be taken to the local village office and exchanged for household necessities like toilet paper, soya sauce, etc. Not only have local residents highly praised the initiative, local shops and vendors unanimously agree that it has helped ameliorate local environmental issues.

Pingxi Sky Lantern Association Secretary-General, Wang Rui-yu (王瑞瑜), said sky lanterns have attracted large numbers of tourists to the area and transformed it into a hot tourist spot, providing job opportunities for locals. Wang Rui-yu indicated that the bamboo frames and paper exteriors of sky lanterns are all eco-friendly, so although it is impossible for any recycling initiative to be 100% effective, any wayward sky lanterns that land on mountaintops or inaccessible places will all decompose through time and so there is nothing to be alarmed about. The local recycling initiative has allowed the continued release of sky lanterns while at the same ensuring environmental concerns have not been neglected, creating a more sustainable sky lantern culture to carry on into the future.

Pingxi’s new sky lantern scene – residents recycling for household necessities 

URLhttps://www.peopo.org/news/338029

(以下是中文對照)

平溪天燈新氣象 里民回收換家用

新北市平溪是國內知名的旅遊勝地,但當地因天燈施放造成嚴重的環境汙染。近期當地政府推動「回收天燈換家用」相關活動,吸引里民踴躍參與,不僅帶動回收風氣、有效減少垃圾量,也讓民眾可以藉由回收天燈,換取生活所需的用品,一舉兩得。

近年來平溪十分里制定新的回收機制,只要撿回掉落的天燈,底下竹框可以賣回給附近店家,換取現金,而天燈上的宣紙則可以到區公所選換家庭用品,諸如衛生紙、醬油洗衣粉等等。不僅居民對這項機制讚譽有加,附近店家也紛紛表示此機制確實改善當地環境問題。
 
平溪天燈協會理事長王瑞瑜則表示,天燈帶來大量觀光客,讓當地成為熱門旅遊景點,也讓居民有了就業機會。王瑞瑜提到,雖然回收不可能做到百分之百,但目前平溪天燈採用環保材質,上頭宣紙以及下方的竹框都是可以分解的材質,即使掉落山頭檢不回,也會回歸大自然,不須擔心。當地回收機制,讓天燈施放的同時,也不罔顧環境保護,也讓天燈文化延續得更有價值。

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