If there’s no bin, you stuff your rubbish in your bag, not in the bushes
Admit it: we’ve all imagined a dream beach gateway to sandy white beaches like in Maldives. We are skeptical about our local beaches – we think they’re not clean enough, polluted and not as pristine.
Have we ever wondered why they were in that state and what have we done to help?
The Rotary Club of Tebrau organised their first beach clean-up activity near Sedili recently. Their humble first event was attended by environmentalists as young as 9 years old to the young at heart at 94.
Faith Lin, President of the Club, sees that we should start treating beaches as we would with our houses by knowing where to dispose our rubbish. As a travelling runner and hiker, she noticed how countries like Japan were able to keep their parks clean; they were simply educated on waste management.
“We can clean the beach today, but if we’re not educated on what to do when there is no rubbish bin, the beach is going to get dirty again tomorrow,” she said.
Bottle caps, toothbrushes, empty lighters, cigarette boxes, slippers, ropes and even fishermen floaters were the “gems” hidden in the sand. Participants were seen emptying the semi-filled plastic bottles in order to not burden the weight of their collection bags. Some plastic bottles disintegrated upon first touch; evidence to how long the bottle had been there untouched. The average time for a plastic bottle to biodegrade is about 450 years – some could take up to even 1000 years. Is two seconds of convenience of tossing a bottle to the side worth the eternity it will be there for?
Sridharan, an 11-year-old participant, told his father he wanted to join the beach cleaning and wants to solve the country’s pollution problem. It looks like we’re putting the burden of pollution on future generations too.
In one hour, about 50kg of waste was collected, and that was just the beginning.
Rotary Club of Tebrau plans to have a beach cleaning activity every second Saturday of the month. More hands are welcomed to make the cleaning work lighter.
Contact Rotary Club of Tebrau on Facebook or WhatsApp +6010-2254103 (Rajakupal) for details to register as volunteers.