TAIPEI. Staff from travel retailer Ever Rich Duty Free gave up their time to remove 11,000kg of waste from land and sea locations in a 150-day environmental clean-up campaign earlier this year.

Running from Earth Day – 22 April – to 30 September the employees answered Ever Rich’s call to participate in a ‘Trash Tag Challenge’.

Rising to the challenge: Ever Rich staff pose for the camera after completing a beach clean-up

The principle of the challenge was to take a picture of a place where trash has accumulated and clean up the chosen area. When complete, a second photo was taken of the spot to create a before/after image showing the transformation. This was then shared on social media using the hashtag #TrashTagChallenge to raise awareness of waste issues and encourage others to do the same.

Participants were asked to capture before and after images of clean-up areas, with the most creative being displayed on Ever Rich social media

Ever Rich said that this initiative is the company’s response to its commitment to act on two of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 14: Life below water and Goal 15: Life on land.

Ever Rich staff from Keelung, Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Green Island, Xiao Liuqiu, Kinmen and Penghu participated in the challenge.

Intrepid Ever Rich staff pose underwater after collecting waste from a sub-sea location

In addition to collating data such as trash type, weight, and number of participants, Ever Rich selected what it considered to be the ten most creative photos taken by employees from the challenge.

The images were then uploaded to Ever Rich social media platforms and the public was invited to vote for their favourites and participate in a prize draw. The draw winners won products specially-made from recycled plastic or glass.

Beaches, streets, parks and other previously trash-ridden areas have benefited from the work of Ever Rich staff, who creatively commemorate their work with social media-friendly images

Ever Rich said its wider aim was to encourage more people to “develop a deeper sense of responsibility for safeguarding the environment of our homeland” and to stimulate practical action in addressing environmental concerns.

Ever Rich used video footage from the challenge to create a short film which was launched on Ever Rich’s Facebook page. This went on to achieve more than half a million views and over 8,000 shares, rapidly spreading the word of the #TrashTagChallenge campaign