1 tonne of trash collected at S.E.A. Aquarium Society’s beach cleanup

A 400-metre stretch at Tanah Merah Beach Site 7, 104 S.E.A. Aquarium Society volunteers, and a new record – a whopping 1,078kg of marine litter collected at S.E.A. Aquarium Society’s annual beach cleanup on 17 June 2017.

Beach cleanup 2017
A typical scene that welcomed the volunteers.
Beach cleanup 2017
Volunteers and their family members form multiple groups to clean up specific parts of the beach.

Beach cleanup 2017

Beach cleanup 2017
All trash collected are documented, and the collated data is sent to International Coastal Cleanup

Marine litter is human-created waste that has been discharged or abandoned into the coastal or marine environment. The number one marine litter collected during this exercise was plastic stirrers/straws (2,341 pieces), followed by plastic beverage bottles (1,520 pieces) and plastic cups and plates (804 pieces).

Beach cleanup 2017
It takes up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose. Time to choose eco-friendly alternatives like paper, wooden or even metal straws.
Beach cleanup 2017
Among the litter are a large quantity of plastics and styrofoam. Volunteers also picked up a packet of fresh chilli padi, 49 slippers and 11 shoes.

beach cleanup 2017

Some of the younger participants were amazed at the amount of trash collected. They wondered how beach goers could leave so much trash behind. Truth is, marine litter travel from coast to coast. Which means apart from beach goers, much of the trash washed ashore originate from neighbouring shores, and even street litter washed down stormwater drains

This is one reason why beach cleaning vendors we spoke to said that despite their efforts to clean the beach every other day, the trash continues to accumulate.

Clearly, beach cleanup needs to be a global initiative, in conjunction with our reduced reliance on plastic disposables.

beach cleanup 2017
Almost done
Beach cleanup 2017
It’s a wrap!

S.E.A. Aquarium Society will be organising at least 2 beach cleanups a year in Singapore, on top of other marine conservation-related activities, such as reef cleanups, workshops and talks. If you wish to take part in upcoming activities, sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop.

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