Taiwan National Clean Up Day 2018
The results are in! On May 20th, 2018, Taiwan National Clean Up Day had 14 locations with volunteers cleaning up the coastlines and forests of Taiwan. An incredible amount of garbage was collected!
This year’s 2nd annual Taiwan National Clean Up Day, organized by Taiwan Adventure Outings and sponsored by Quiksilver & Roxy , was a massive success. We had an abundance of companies and groups step up to lead each location for the day. All credit goes to the hundreds of volunteers who took the time out of their day to brave the sun, get dirty, and make a positive impact in their communities!
An incredible amount of garbage litters the coasts of Taiwan. Partial blame can be put on Earth’s dire ocean health, and Taiwan’s unique geographic location. This, however, is not the only reason, and far from it. Taiwan has a major plastic consumption problem, Taiwan’s fishing industry pollution is a major concern that seemingly goes unchecked. Education on how to properly dispose of garbage and recyclables will never be complete. We can only move forward.
The forests are not spared either. What used to be a once per year (borrowed) tradition has turned into a year round tourism trap that takes no account of the drastic environmental impact it imparts. Setting off sky lanterns every day creates an inescapable amount of garbage in unreachable locations. Thankfully we had three teams of volunteers out in the surrounding forests of Pingxi and Shifen collecting as many sky lanterns as they could.
So let’s get to the positives! We had 14 locations organized and sponsored for clean up on May 20th, 2018. In our second year running Taiwan National Clean Up Day we had a modest goal of collecting one ton of trash. We exceeded that goal by over three tons!
Overall throughout the 14 locations around Taiwan, 4.14 tons of garbage was picked up by hundreds of volunteers! Here is the breakdown by location:
Ruifang: 1833 kg
Baishawan: 520 kg
Wai’ao: 200 kg
Wulai: 185 kg
Fulong: 172 kg
Hualien: 153 kg
Dansui: 150 kg
Tainan: 150 kg
Taitung: 130 kg
Shifen: 27 kg
Pingxi: 15 kg
Yushan: 4 kg
How Can We Make A Difference?
The waste collected was a wide variety of plastics, glass, sky lanterns, cigarette butts, toothbrushes, straws, large appliances, fishing equipment and more. Below are some recommendations on how to reduce your footprint and consumption of single use plastics.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is cliche, and still has some merit, however we recommend something else. REDUCE REDUCE REDUCE. Reduce your plastic consumption by using your own thermos for water and coffee. Reduce your use of single use utensils like soup spoons and chopsticks by bringing your own. Taiwan, and greater Asia as a whole, have a huge problem with single use plastics at restaurants. You can greatly reduce your impact by bringing the above items with you.
Say no to plastic bags. Taiwan has pledged to go plastic free by 2030, and already the Environmental Protection Agency has banned single-use bags in seven industries this year.
Join beach and forest clean ups! Not only do these events bring communities together for a cause, they help raise awareness of our plastic consumption, educate on proper disposal methods, and put a massive smile on everyone’s face!
Thank you to the following companies and groups. Without their leadership at each location, Taiwan National Clean Up Day would not have been possible.
Quiksilver & Roxy, Taiwan Adventure Outings, WRAPTIE™, One Brown Planet, NALA’S Mexican Food, Rising Sun Surf Inn, Taipei Hikers, Southern Taiwan Hiking, Origin Wellness and Yoga, Taiwan Hiking Community, Blue Skies Adventures, Ocean Diary_我在海邊寫日記 思多浪 – Stoke Hound