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mittag jewelry淨灘紀實—台灣海岸的不塑之旅

mittag jewelry beach cleanup records : Plastic-Free journey on the coast in Taiwan

by mittag jewelry

Every September to October, mittag jewelry would host an employees’ domestic travel, because the company is still small and with few employees, so we take turns to arrange the itinerary. We roamed around Hualien in 2018, visited Chiayi in 2019, and chose Yilan in 2020. This year, it’s my turn to arrange the itinerary, then I realized that if I wanted to satisfy everyone, I really needed to make efforts... Luckily, one colleague is from Yilan, and she gave a lot of secret spots that are not well-known (oops, now I am telling everyone...). Please don’t hit me, friends in Yilan~~


After arriving in Yilan from Taipei on the first day, we immediately rushed to eat lunch at "Sanmin Hotel". Although the name is called a hotel, it is actually a simple diner, I liked its braised pork feet so much that I missed it everyday. After that, we set off to the first attraction "Linmei Shipan Trail". I like this trail very much because it is very much integrated into the forests and maintains. It is almost impossible to expose yourself to sunlight when you walk on the trail. Many butterflies fly around, or even stop on the road to rest, as if they are not afraid of people passing by. The stream along the trail is clear and chilled, and you can see fish from a distance. Walking on this trail has a similar feeling to walking in the "Plitvice Lakes National Park" in Croatia, because the walking path is very integrated into the natural landscape, and maintaining the original appearance of the forest, it is really worth visiting.


Beach cleanup here we come, every little makes a mickle

Then here comes the main task of mittag jewelry's journey: "Beach cleanup." According to the annual practice, there is a section for cleaning the beach, and this year is of course no exception. As we mentioned in the article "Cultivating a brand, let the world see Taiwan", caring for the earth and loving Taiwan are the core values of mittag jewelry. Use practical actions (to clean the beach) to support the love for Taiwan, not to mention the spiritual satisfaction after the beach cleanup, those feelings cannot be described in words. I really like and support this event, and sincerely hope that this event can continue forever.


When we arrived at the destination "Lize Sand-dune Coast", we were really surprised and delighted as we entered the dune gate and saw the entire beach was so clean (later on we realised that this area was just cleanup); then we looked at the south beach 1km away and found some scattered white dots. We were not sure what those were, so we walked to the white dots, and finally we could see clearly that they were large pieces of garbage. Each of us immediately took out the big garbage bags and started squatting down to pick them up. After more than an hour, we found that everyone’s garbage bags were full, but there were still a lot of plastic garbage scattered on the beach. Feeling powerless and sad, but we can only leave with regrets…

mittag jewelry每年員工旅遊都自辦淨灘活動盡一己之力維護環境

The trash picked up during the beach cleanup is usually diverse, and there are even many unimaginable discards that I can't imagine (such as needles). I picked up many cigarette butts, straws, PET bottles, and discarded fishing nets. Many plastics have become brittle through wind and sun and become small flakes, which are very difficult to pick. You can imagine many smaller plastic pieces have become plastic particles and enter the ocean, becoming food for marine lives, and then marine lives become human food. Humans then eat the plastic particles into the body... Why do tourists throw garbage into the sea? In fact, it is not. Usually the garbage does not come from tourists. The source of garbage is the garbage burial sites near the coast and the estuary of rivers washed out by wind and rain. The ocean tides then brought those to the coast alternately.


Plastic waste threatens the creatures living in the ocean seriously. Turtles will think that the plastic bag is a jellyfish, mistakenly eat the plastic bag, and their body cannot discharge the plastic bag, which threatens their lives. The albatross mother will mistakenly think that plastic fragments or straws are shrimps or other food, and pick them up and feed them to their baby birds. When the baby birds’ stomachs are full of plastic fragments, they will starve to death because they can no longer eat food. Seals and whales will be entangled in discarded fishing lines or nets, resulting in injuries and deaths. Fish will die from eating plastic fragments. Moreover, plastic particles will stick to harmful substances, if animals swallow the plastic particles, harmful substances will slowly accumulate in their bodies, which will slow down the movement and growth of young fish. Of course, humans who eat those fish are not immune.

Rejecting disposable plastic products can effectively reduce environmental pollution

Are plastic products really that bad? In fact, it is not. The point is whether there is a way to use it for a long time or repeatedly. If it is only for one-time use, the amount of garbage produced by each person every day is really terrifying. Plastic can survive for more than 500 years without corruption or decomposition. But if it is an item that will be used for a long time after careful consideration, then buying plastic products may be a good choice in Taiwan, which is humid and easy to mold. However, the plastic bags used for snack packaging are usually really disposable, and the bags are discarded after eating the snacks (especially the exquisite small packaging, which can not be used for second time). I was addicted to eating snacks, but one day I counted the small packaging bags I produced after eating snacks, and it was almost 10! ! In order to permanently solve this problem, I made a wish on the first day of 2020 to give up the habit of eating snacks. Now I have found that there are many advantages: less garbage, saving money, and making myself healthier. There are so many benefits that I didn't think of at first.


I believe that everyone is working hard on garbage classification and resource recycling, but in fact, effectively reducing the output of garbage is the real solution. Once again, I like to invite everyone to bring along the "three useful items: tableware, water container, and shopping bag". These three things can really reduce a lot of disposable waste. The small movements will change greatly.


Back to Hotel Royal Chiaohsi, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel is also promoting environmental protection and plastic reduction. Toiletries have been changed from small disposable packages to refillable bottles for use in the hotel. Drinking fountains are provided on all floors to encourage travellers to reduce the use of bottle water. If the bath towels, and bed sheets are not dirty, it is recommended not to replace them in order to reduce the consumption of water and electricity for cleaning. These changes are really laudable. At last, I brewed a cup of Yilan's unique golden jujube tea, sat down to rest and relax, and pleasantly called it a day.


If anyone wants to know more about the severity of marine waste, we sincerely recommend the article of "Plastic waves" by Y.G.Wu.


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