Medical Waste on Mainland China Beaches

Mainland China has been infamous for toxic bio waste on their beaches, but now the waste is making its way to the shores of Hong Kong. District Counsellor Paul Zimmerman and residents from around the community belonging to the environmental awareness group “Plastic Free Seas” took just a small sample of bio-waste gathered in just 2 months and presented the collection to the government, pleasing them to address this situation.

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“What must be done is a governmental inquest and investigation to find the source of this waste.” Zimmerman commented. A plethora of evidence is on the waste – IV bags, some syringes, brand names with evidence markings can be found, which should make it easy to find the source of this dumping.

“We can find them often, but it is a low priority for the police and even when they write a fine to a business, the fine is usually laughed off, paid, and forgotten as business returns to normal and so do their horrible practice of dumping their waste. Guanxi University biology professor Gi Ping has stated that the producers of the medical waste do not use the many medical waste disposal services in the cities. That costs money. Dumping doesn’t.

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Testing the water reveals high levels of common medications, particularly antidepressant tablets, both loose and in blister packs. During a study, it was discovered that much of the bio waste had fish bite marks, indicating that living creatures were interacting with this poison. Zimmerman stated that bio waste from Guandong and Wenshu provinces is arriving on the shores of Hong Kong by the disposing the waste from boats. Much of the waste found on shores is actually still stored in the large plastic boxes as if taken directly from the collection site and dumped straight into the sea, box and all.

Medical waste is nothing new, however. With the epic “Syringe Tide” in the New Jersey area in 1987-88, many things in the lawbooks have been changed for the better and our seashore is some of the cleanest in the country. A social media user, Miriam Konchlin, stated that she and her friends were also collecting trash and medical waste and have collected heaps of toxic material. Due to poor government regulation and almost a laissez-faire approach to the endemic problem, when the beaches are cleaned, it is not long before the shoreline is choked with even more bio waste.

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