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Trash tag challenge sweeping across China

(People's Daily Overseas New Media)    16:49, March 22, 2019

A diver picks up litter from offshore. Photo courtesy to Sunshine巧巧

The trashtag challenge has gone viral on Chinese social media, as people share before-and-after photos of picking up litter on mountains, fields, and even underwater.

The tag #trashtagchallenge on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform, has attracted almost 30 million views, and includes thousands of before-and-after photos.

In addition, Douyin, the Chinese version of the video-sharing platform Tik Tok, has helped assemble collective excitement around the social-media-inspired campaign, with more and more users rallying under the causes of environmental protection and public good.

The challenge was triggered by a Facebook by Byron Román, a man from the US state of Arizona, who shared his before-and-after photo of his cleanup success and then challenged “all you bored teens” who were well-engaged on social media.

His post got attention from more just than teens. The message resonated with many people around the world, especially in China.

Since southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region closed its Everest base camp, locals and volunteers have mobilized to safeguard the fragile eco-system of the region.

“We’ve thrice carried out large-scale of cleanup in the region, which is 5,200 meters above sea level. We brought down an astonishing 5,240 kg of plastics, 1,000 kg of discarded climbing equipment, and 2,260 kg of human waste. Though picking up litter on Mt. Everest is as dangerous as climbing it, I’ll still do my part as a responsible citizen to protect it,” said Tsering Tenda, a former climber and guide, now a trash-picker and environment activist, Xinhua reported.

“I prefer to use my diving skills to protect the environment rather than just make money,” Zhang Xudong, a diving instructor who established an environmental protection organization and is determined to recover the blueness of the water. His clean water project has attracted over 40 members who collect floating plastics on rivers and along the banks.

“Plastic waste contaminates the planet. The land for humans and the water for marine life are shrinking, both under our feet and in our minds. I consider it my duty to protect the water. I’m a trainer second,” Zhang told Guangzhou Daily.

In an Internet era of “amusing ourselves to death,” the fighting pollution social media trend is like a pleasant drug nurtures our “cyber soma” and the real world.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Miao Wanyi, Bianji)

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