Sinopec to clean up Hong Kong's "Mermaid Tears"
Created: 2012-08-09 16:16 EST
China’s state-run oil giant Sinopec has promised to clean-up Hong Kong beaches covered with tons of tiny plastic pellets.
The pellets, dubbed “mermaid tears," came from a massive cargo spill two weeks ago after typhoon Vincent.
Despite their attractive name, local fishermen want the pellets out. That’s because the 150 tonnes of polypropylene beads are potentially toxic, and fishermen say the spill is hurting marine life.
[Spokesman, Fisherman Consortium Spokesman]
"Fish in fish farms are dying and we've told the government about it, but no compensation figure has been mentioned."
The cargo belonged to Sinopec, and the company has now promised to clean up the mess.
[Lu Dapeng, Sinopec Media Spokesman]:
"The best thing we can do for the fishermen is to get rid of the harmful particles, and find the sixth container as soon as possible, promptly coordinate with the environmental agency and the relevant Hong Kong departments, to quickly clean up the particles, to prevent them causing more harm to the fishermen."
Sinopec has not assumed liability though, so whether and how local fishermen will be compensated remains to be seen.