Nationwide beach clean-up Sept 22

Tanjung Aru Beach – file photo

KOTA KINABALU: Reef Check Malaysia, together with The Body Shop and Coca-Cola Malaysia, is organizing a nationwide beach clean-up on September 22 in conjunction with the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day.

Several partners and friends from individuals to companies, have agreed to lead beach clean-ups in area of their choice.

This effort is part of our long battle against marine debris, which is also our focus for the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2018.

This clean-up will be the second in a series of events that RCM has planned for the International Year of the Reef 2018.

RCM conducted a beach clean-up in March, on a much smaller scale. This clean-up saw 500 people in 16 locations around Malaysia, and they collected over 2.6 tonnes of trash from 15km of coastline, including 15,974 plastic bottles, 6,884 plastic bags, 2,368 cigarette butts and 203 diapers.

These clean-up efforts are intended to raise awareness and bring attention to the problem of marine debris, specifically plastic waste, which represents a serious threat to marine ecosystems.

Plastics are also making their way into the food chain and will harm us in the future.

However, it has to be about more than just doing continuing clean-ups. RCM sees the need to go beyond clean-ups and to eventually stop having to do away with them altogether.

RCM says they are working at getting to the source of the trash and stopping the trash from reaching beaches. To achieve this, they are collaborating with a number of partners from industry and government to find solutions to reduce trash on our beaches, all towards a target of no more beach clean-ups in 10 years.

A workshop in late July gathered representatives from brands, plastic manufacturers and suppliers, government, waste management companies and recycling companies, to agree the terms of reference for a multi-stakeholder workshop to be held in November. Further events include the ICC event, a workshop with plastic specialists Plasticity in October and the final workshop in November. All these workshops in this plastic waste campaign are co-led by RCM and Coca-Cola.

The organisers have recruited many partners and volunteers across the country, who will be joining them in many locations on September 2 (updated locations are posted on their Facebook group).

If you want to commit to organizing a team of volunteers (friends, family, colleagues) for a few hours on that day, please email to organisers ([email protected]) so that they can send more information on how to organize a beach clean-up and collect data which will help them identify long-term solutions for trash-fee seas.

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