Recently, a religious group started an activity of throwing waste paper shreds down the Taroko Gorge near the Tunnel of Nine Turns, citing that it could relieve one of his or her karma while the updraft carries the scraps up. As littering is prohibited in the national park, this act also infuriated many of the tourists nearby.
In the footage shot on a mobile phone, a religious group comprising of around 30 people, was leaning over the railing at The Taroko Tunnel of Nine Turns to discard shreds of waste paper. The host of the group told everyone that if these paper scraps float up in the updraft of the gorge, then their karma can be lifted as well. Infuriated tourists nearby notified the police immediately. A documentary director that happened to be filming in the vicinity saw the incident and was dumbfounded.
Whether this occurred in the national park or not, I feel that this kind of behavior is ridiculous.
When we arrived, the group was just about to leave, but our colleague did arrive on site to persuade them and say that they can't do this in the National Park.
One of the executives of the religious group told the police that special biodegradable material was used for the scraps that they toss, however, the Taroko Park management office stressed that though religious activities are not prohibited, any kind of littering is banned.
All tourists or groups, regardless of what reason, are prohibited from littering in the park. It will be a violation against the National Park Act. For littering paper or fruit peels, the first-instance offense penalty is NT$ 1500.
On hearing that the Taroko National Park intends to issue a fine, the group left quickly. However, their deed has been recorded on camera, and the police will have to find them and issue fines.