At the beginning of the year, I joined the United Nations Association of WA Division. Particularly, I support the Environment Committee with the aim to raise Community awareness and to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
On Sunday June 11th, we organised a huge community Land & Water Clean-up event in South Beach – Fremantle, coordinated by Kirsty Symmons the Portfolio-Lead Water and Oceans, to celebrate the UN World Oceans Day. We worked in partnership with Sea Shepherd, Keep Australia Beautiful and Murdoch University Dive club and we had a great turnout: 199 volunteers!
Since 2010 when I was living in Vernazzola (Genoa) very close to the sea, I always wanted to organise a beach clean-up. I believe it is a great way to raise awareness and to have people realising how much rubbish ends up on our beaches and in the ocean. To me, WA beaches look really pristine compared to the situation I unfortunately used to find every Sunday morning in Vernazzola 🙁, so I was really surprised to see how many bags of rubbish we collected in just a couple of hours!!!
Indeed, Sea Shepherd have published that a total of 22,000 bits of rubbish was collected in 60 minutes with nearly 200 volunteers. The following debris was recorded by Liza Dicks (Sea Sheperd) to be entered into the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative which is an online database where rubbish found along the coast of Australia can be documented:
Plastic bags / dog poo bags – 1027
Pieces of plastic (bits of bags, food wrapping etc) – 3621
Bits of hard plastic – 2013
Food packaging – 1977
Plastic drink bottles – 608
Straws/confection sticks/cups/plates etc – 465
Cigarette butts – 5225
Rope & net scrapes – 588 metres
Fishing line – 420 metres
Sanitary items (nappies,tissues etc) – 330
Alcohol bottles – 525
It is an impressive amount of rubbish and everybody was really shocked!
After the clean-up, we offered a free/gold coin donation bbq to all the participants, thanks to the support of Bread in Common and Coles Fremantle. Our “professional” bbq team worked really hard and everybody was satisfied, especially the hungry divers team 😉
The event was also a great opportunity to meet new people and for our UNAA WA Environment Committee to get to know each other better.
I will be there 😉 !