With the return of summer, thousands return to the beach to celebrate the lazy days.
However, the relaxing weekend means something completely different to a growing number of Hong Kong volunteers.
Local groups use frustration as fuel when reaching the shores and find heaps of plastic trash floating in the water and covering the sand. Not content to find a clean patch, they are leading crews of volunteers and cleaning up.
In just one weekend, our members collected tonnes of waste from beaches and shorelines — plastic straws and bottles, supermarket and restaurant packaging, medical waste and ghost nets, long abandoned by fishermen but still doing their job of catching and killing marine life.
As the plastic continues to wash down from the hills, these volunteers return to the city thinking twice before entering a temple of convenience where every single product is packaged in disposable, single-serving sizes.
Before there were many, there was one. 16 years ago, Lisa Christensen signed up a local crew for the International Coastal Cleanup and now she inspires thousands every year with HK Cleanup.
Today, there is a growing number of local organizations devoted to the plastic problem.
One of our own, Craig Leeson, directed a Plastic Oceans, new film aimed at changing world views while another, Doug Woodring at Ocean Recovery Alliance, launched the Global Alert Platform as part of the Plastic Disclosure Project. Our Sea Shepherd, Gary Stokes, recruited his brother Ed Stokes and together they launched The Last Straw movement.
Get in touch with our members whose passion is marine conservation.
Don’t hesitate to pick up a few things the next time you hit the beach.
Photo by Gary Stokes, Sea Shepherd HK
Coastal Watch would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the enthusiastic volunteers who helped with the regional coastal cleanups in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China during #WorldEnvironmentDay. Our coastal areas have now become a lot more habitable for marine creatures! The scale of this event was impressive – we had 400 volunteers in Hong Kong and 150 volunteers in Macau; while 15 cities in mainland China also participated in it.
To learn more about the Cross-Border Clean-up, please visit https://coastalwatch.hk/crossborder_eng/
Here are some of the highlights of the Lung Kwu Tan clean-up event: http://bit.ly/22OPURI
The volunteers for the families of the ten-year-old helper.