1,263 styrofoam pieces, 610 cigarette butts and 0 sunburns – Northland Primary @ Changi Beach 1

[Ed’s note – Northland is the only primary school participant at ICCS, and this is their third year at Changi Beach]

18 Sep 2010 – “Tiring… but it’s a meaningful activity,” was the consensus among the 37 teachers, pupils and parent volunteers of Northland Primary School who were involved in the ICCS 2010.

Scattered all over Changi Beach Site 1 were pieces of styrofoam, cigarette butts, plastic wrappers and bottle caps. And that’s just to name only a few of what we had found today! Spurred on by the enthusiasm of the young children, teachers and parent volunteers worked even harder to pick up all the rubbish that they could see on the beach.

Many thanks to all the teachers, pupils and parent volunteers who woke up early on a Saturday morning to clear the beach under the blazing hot sun. A volunteer said, “I’m just glad that we could do our part for marine life and the environment.”

Hoe Kexin,
Teacher, Northland Primary School

Biswajit @ Pandan mangrove [People at the ICCS]

Biswajit Guha standing in the mud at Pandan mangrove on Saturday morning, 11th September 2010. The Director of Zoology at the Singapore Zoo is an enthusiastic ICCS volunteer who never fails to get muddy at Pandan. This was the third year running and we’ve removed most of the larger items by now, leaving us to the back breaking removal of plastic bags, strapping bands and plastic pieces. Still it’s only 90 back-breaking minutes and he agrees the mud must be good for his complexion. Until our next mud bath in 2011 then, Biz!


It’s always a greatly enriching experience having good clean “dirty” fun
with friends while helping our local ecosystems!!
Photo by Ou Yang Xiuling

Trash busters at Changi Beach Sites 3 and 4

18 Sep 2010 – This year I coordinated the Changi Zone with veteran Kok Oi Yee in support. As with all other ICCS coordinators, we joined the volunteers in action on the morning of the cleanup before returning with the data that afternoon for data entry, verification and submission.

A peaceful, ‘sleeping’ Changi Beach Site 3 was gently roused to life by the morning sun and the chattering of a small group of ICCS participants from FMC Technologies. Undeterred by the size of their site, the volunteers tackled their cleanup with tenacity.

Wrestling with trash
Wrestling with trash

A short while later, the students and teachers from ITE College East Nursing and Electrical Engineering joined them at the site. These boisterous and enthusiastic youth turned the beach into a vivacious and bustling cleanup site. They were quickly organised and started in no time.    

Unity is strength


Reusing plastic bags from home to collect marne trash!

Finally, everything was weighed and data collated.

The final verdict – The FMC volunteers collected 1,734 items of marine debris weighing 82 kg with just 15 participants! And ITE Collge East Electrical and Nursing collected 2,535 items (46 kg) and 1,121 items (56 kg) respectively. Well done!! 🙂  

Over at Changi Beach Site 4, the Queensway Sec Girl Guides showed their zest in doing their part for the environment as well collecting 3,376 pieces of marine debris, half of it styrofoam. 

Meticulous data recording

The other participants at Changi Beach Site 4 that morning whom I did not catch in action (Changi’s beaches are quite long!) were MEWR, Eco Leadership, NPCC HQ and NTU Earthlink. They all submitted their data promptly which is a great hallmark of the Singapore Organisers.

Happy participants from MEWR

Coastal cleanup is an activity for all ages. 

By the end of the event, the sweaty and hot participants left Changi Beach with smiles of triumph and satisfaction. 🙂  As I did – good job everyone!

Teo Kah Ming
Zone Captain,
ICCS Changi Zone