On Sunday 17 September, Hebe Haven held its third clean Pak Sha Wan beach clean-up day, when close to 250 volunteers went out to seven beaches in and around the Port Shelter area to clean the rubbish, and flotsam collected.
With the effects of two recent typhoons fresh in everyone mind, this was by far the biggest turnout for this annual event, and twice the participants from 2016.
2.9 tonnes of material was collected, including plastics of every description, from single use plastic bottles, caps, toothbrushes, Styrofoam, glass, aluminium cans, tyres, tenders, kayaks, and even a derelict jet ski.
This sets a new standard for the event, in both participants, as well as amount of material collected.
While many volunteers were members of the yacht club, the majority were members of the general public, from Sai Kung, and all over Hong Kong. We even has overseas visitors from as far away as Germany. There were local scout troops, church congregations, members of the Hong Kong University of Science, and Technology ‘Green Team’, as well as several other corporate, and and social organisations.
With 248 volunteers collecting rubbish on the beaches, logistical support was provided by the Hebe Haven Yacht Club for ferrying people to the beaches, whilst FEHD, and the Marine Department assisted in picking up the collected recyclables, and rubbish.
In 2016, 480 billion single use water bottles were sold worldwide. Only a small percentage of these are ever recycled, with the majority discarded, and destined to landfill. But much of these, plus other plastics never make it to landfill. Instead they end up in our oceans. It is estimated over 10 million tonnes of plastic end up in the worlds oceans every year.
We can all do our part to reduce our reliance on single use plastics, and at Hebe Haven Yacht Club on Sunday 17 September we implemented a ban on the sale of single use plastics, both bottles, and bags.
Together, through taking part in local beach clean-ups, and reducing our reliance on single use plastics, we can all make a difference, and make the world a better, and cleaner place.