What a weekend of cleanups! Over 800 people on Lamma Island, 500 people on Chi Ma Wan peninsula, 200 on Peng Chau, 111 on Shek O, over 100 in Discovery Bay too. And these are just the areas that we know of. Everywhere I go I see people on beaches in goups, in families, as a couple or an individual, head down and concentrating hard on removing those nurdles from the sand. I see people wandering the streets heading to ferry piers and buses carrying sieves and brushes and buckets. Walking along the beaches all you see are happy people enjoying time with their families and friends and participating in the latest craze to hit Hong Kong – Nurdling. So many of you are also spending your time on the beaches removing a lot of the other waste as well endeavouring to really clean up all the plastics that are there.
Maybe this is the start of the change when HK people show the government, industry and the rest of the world that they want to reclaim their beaches and have them free from the build up of years of waste & detritus. Try to wipe the slate (or beach!) clean and start again with a different attitude Maybe now we will see a push for a real effort by the governement to look at their waste management plans which includes everything; a proper recycling infrastructure, waste reduction measures, and waste disposal technology, we will see more consumers choosing to use less plastic in their daily lives, we’ll see industry look at how they package their products to reduce the amount of plastic & styrofoam they use. We’ll see people connecting the rubbish that is being cleaned off the beach to their lifestyles and habits. And over the next few years we won’t see so much rubbish on our beaches, and our water will be cleaner.
That’s what I’d like to see happen from this terrible event and having spoken to so many of the volunteers over the last few weeks I know this is a sentiment shared by many.
This weekend is going to be an interesting one. Typhoon Kai Tak will be passing by tonight or tomorrow and we are not sure what effect this will have on the beaches and the pellets that are still on the sand, in the rocks and in the water.
We are anticipating a lot of typhoon debris to be washed up with a good mix of pellets all over the beaches. We are also expecting a lot more pellets to be in the water along the coastlines. So with this in mind we are asking all our volunteers to head down to the beaches when it is safe to do so after the typhoon. Obviously be very mindful of dangers that are always present after typhoons such as fallen trees and branches and rough water. Safety is our first priority!
The typhoon/pellet debris needs to be removed – please don’t try and separate the mix as it will be far more effcient to spend your time removing the bulk of the whole mess. If you have access to a pool type net or similar and there are pellets in the water, please try and remove them whilst they are close to shore.
And please keep in contact with the Plastic Disaster HK page http://www.facebook.com/PlasticDisasterHongKong . We need lots of updates on the situation on all the beaches.
The quicker we can act on this the better.