On 3 May 2015, 29 volunteers went with us to Lim Chu Kang Beach during “Operation WE (coastal) Clean Up!” and removed 892kg of trash.
2 weeks later, 32 of us headed down to Lim Chu Kang Beach again in commemoration of World Biodiversity Day and in 76 trash bags, removed 518kg worth of marine trash.
Despite removing a huge trash load 2 weeks ago, Lim Chu Kang beach was once again littered with plastics and styrofoam when we returned on Saturday evening.
Everyone working hard to free the mudflat of trash.
Although only 2 weeks has passed since our last cleanup, we still collected another 518kg worth of trash comprising of items like plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers and styrofoam pieces. This is only a tiny fraction of the trash that is polluting our oceans and coastal habitats.
Where does this trash come from? The production of plastic has soared since it first started getting produced in the 1950s, and in 2013 we were producing 299 million tonnes of plastic globally. As a lightweight and versatile material, plastic is no doubt an extremely useful invention. However, single use plastic items can end up accumulating in landfills or littering our beaches and mangroves.
The production of plastic soaring from the 1950s to 2013. Source: statista.com, 2013.
Coastal cleanups can only do so much to lighten the burden of trash on our coastal environment. What can we do to address plastic pollution in our daily lives? Start small by rejecting single-use plastics like straws when buying iced drinks. Bring your own tumbler or coffee mug when you takeaway your morning coffee, or use your own lunchbox when you buy takeaway meals. These are easy things we can do to reduce our impact on our environment. Say no to single-use plastics, and spread the word of sustainability to your family and friends!
We ended the cleanup with a debrief where we discussed actions we can take on to reduce our use of disposables.
Thank you to everyone who came down on World Biodiversity Day, it was a great effort in caring for our Lim Chu Kang mudflats!