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.
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).
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.
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.