Time to change
Before July 2017, every Hermes-Epitek factory area had a large, transparent double-door refrigerator, like those found in convenience stores, filled with a wide variety of drinks to provide employees with free drinks. However, this benefit generated 360,000 bottles of plastic waste every year, an amount equivalent to the height of 182 Taipei 101 Buildings. But where did the recycled bottles go, and moreover, what effects did these drinks have on our employees’ health?
According to the EPA’s 2016 statistics, about 5.1 billion plastic bottles were recycled in Taiwan throughout the year. A plastic bottle is only used for several minutes but leaves behind plastic waste that will only decompose naturally over the course of several centuries. Although recycling is prevalent in Taiwan, it is not enough to solve the global environmental problems caused by plastic products. Recycling cannot keep up with the speed of new production, and additionally, a large number of processed plastic blocks are being accumulated but cannot be effectively utilized. This is the so-called environmental myth behind plastic bottles: “recycling is good, but it is better not to use”. With this epiphany and as a member of the global community, Hermes-Epitek advocated for the reduction of plastic consumption.
Beyond that, the health of employees is a top priority for Hermes-Epitek. More than 60% of the drinks provided in the factory’s refrigerators contained high sugar and colleagues were free to take what they wanted. However, not only are sugary beverages ineffective in quenching thirst, but also ingest too many calories and artificial sweeteners. Continuous consumption could result in obesity, metabolic abnormalities, and cardiovascular diseases. Once we understood the severity of this problem, we decided to take action starting from 2018. Today, we no longer provide sugary drinks, but have replaced with refreshing sparkling water and a variety of teas prepared by our chefs. We hope that our colleagues will be healthier, and away from obesity.
Author / Angel / Jenson