In 2014, International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) saw more than 560,000 volunteers remove more than 7,000 tonnes of trash along 20,000km of beaches and inland waterways in 91 countries. The global top ten items collected were single-use plastic items. See the report here.
21 Mar 2015 – 41 participants from all over Singapore came together to commemorate Singapore World Water Day with a Mangrove Cleanup at Sungei Pandan. Covering some 100m along the mangrove, we picked up 42 bags of trash, consisting of 283 kg of trash and 7,785 pieces of trash.
Top of the charts were plastic bags, with 3,719 pieces and second was 1,124 pieces of foam pieces (expanded polystyrene or EPS) which were collected and disposed.
Despite the threat of bad weather and a lost bus driver at the Kent Ridge pick-up point, the cleanup went smoothly and we wrapped up operations before the storm blew in! It was a heartening sight to seeing so many individuals from all around Singapore come together with the shared goal of removing whatever trash we could from the mangrove, inspiring Kai Scene to blog immediately after the cleanup!
Our youngest participant at 6 years old found something to bring home from the mangroves!
This is the “reuse” part of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”
Some of our participants sank deep in the mud
and struggled to remove their wellys after the cleanup!
Sungei Pandan was heavily polluted in the 90’s, and when ICCS began operations in 2008, volunteers removed high loads of accumulated trash, typically collecting over a tonne in 90 minutes. In more recent years, even as plastics and styrofoam continue to be recruited into the habitat, the overall situation has improved tremendously with just a third of a tonne of trash removed in the last two cleanups!
In 2012 you can see how a low load of plastics can still dominate the landscape – Lim Cheng Puay, the ICCS South Zone Captain remembers this well.
Coastal cleanups should not have to be necessary. Our Saturday cleanup reminded us its critical for us to reflect on our day-to-day practices and adopt more sustainable alternatives. Simple things, like questioning whether we truly need that plastic straw in our teh-ping or milo-ping the next time we’re at the coffeeshop or hawker centre – we collected 362 straws and stirrers that Saturday. We use these for a mere 10 minutes, before disposal. With so many, some get into our marine environment to leach plastics and persist for a long time.
Thank you to everyone who came down to fight the good fight, and a big thank you to those who stayed to wash gloves and help with logistics!
Until the next cleanup!
As of now, 64 organisations have registered 3,131 volunteers to collect count, categorise and remove marine trash from 57 coastal sites around Singapore for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore on or close to Saturday 13th September 2014.
Of the registered Organisations, 41% are from schools (including tertiary), 31% are corporate groups, 20% are NGO or volunteer groups and 8% are government entities.
Thanks for caring for the environment.
Next: our Workshop in July!
See the ICCS Status page for details.
- Advantest Singapore Pte Ltd
- Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Association Singapore
- ANZA ACTION
- Beatty Beaver Scout Group
- Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Ltd
- BP Maritime Services Singapore Pte Ltd
- Brown University Alumni
- College of Alice and Peter Tan
- Compassvale Sec. School
- Crescent Girls’ School
- Earthlink NTU
- Environmental Resources Management
- FMC Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd
- HGST Singapore Pte. Ltd.
- Hougang Secondary School
- Hypertherm (S) Pte Ltd
- IPDL IBM SG
- Jurong Secondary School
- Jurong Spring CC Youth Executive Committee
- Land Transportation Authority
- Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore
- Mitsui & Co. (Asia Pacific) Pte. Ltd
- MOE, Bedok South Secondary School
- Nanyang Girls’ High School
- Nanyang Polyechnic GEO Council
- National University Of Singapore Environmental Science and Engineering Students’ Club
- Nature Society (Singapore)
- Naval Base Secondary School
- North Vista Secondary School
- Northland Primary School
- Northvista Secondary
- NPS International School
- NUS BES ENV2101 Class
- NUS High School of Math and Science
- NUS USP
- OFS (overseas family school)
- Oil Spill Response Limited
- Oscar & Friends
- Pacific Refreshments Pte Ltd
- People’s Association
- Queensway Secondary School
- Raffles Girls’ School
- Raffles Museum Toddycats
- Red Circle Helpline
- Republic Polytechnic
- SATO Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
- Sentosa Development Corporate
- ShinnyoEn Singapore
- Singapore American School
- Singapore Pools
- Spectra Secondary School
- ST Dynamics
- Starbucks Coffee Singapore
- Sukyo Mahikari Singapore
- Tata Consultancy Services
- Temasek Polytechnic
- The Fox Scout Group
- Waterways Watch Society
- Wildlife Reserves Singapore
- Woodlands Ring Secondary School
- YTL PowerSeraya Pte Ltd
From Ocean Conservancy,
“The Ocean Trash Index presents state-by-state and country-by-country data about ocean trash collected and tallied by volunteers around the world on one day each fall during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup®.
Volunteers have collected data since 1986, and the numbers are used to raise awareness, identify hotspots for debris or unusual trash events, and inform policy solutions.
Cleanups alone can’t solve this pollution problem. Nevertheless, the Ocean Trash Index provides a snapshot of what’s trashing our ocean so we can work to prevent specific items from reaching the water in the first place.”
Click to download “Turning the Tide on Trash, 2014 Report”
The Kranji East mangrove cleanup was a motivating effort with many determined people coming together to do their bit for nature. Almost 150 people responded to the call and cleared more than 1,500kg of trash from this shoreline.
The event generated quite a number of blog posts, which is simply lovely!
- Joelle Lai’s pictorial, Raffles Museum News/Toddycats, 24 Sep 2013
- Toddycat Jocelyne Sze’s busy day! Nature Rambles, 23 Sep 2013
- Clarence the Independent joined us! klairens, 21 Sep 2013
- Toddycat Germaine’s muddy blog! The Living Fossil, 22 Sep 2013.
- Pearlynn’s cigarette lighter reflections! Reflections on Nature, 21 Sep 2013
- Liyana’s fourth coastal cleanup! Caryota Confessionals, 21 Sep 2013
And there are photo albums too:
The 2012 Ocean Trash Index which is the compilation of data and reports from the 2012 international cleanups is now available.
“The Ocean Trash Index presents state-by-state and country-by-country data about ocean trash collected and tallied by volunteers around the world on one day each fall during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup®.”
You can download a copy of the 2012 results now!
Washington, DC: Ocean Conservancy is releasing today a new report titled “Tracking Trash: 25 Years of Action for the Ocean.” This milestone report compiles data and stories about trash in the ocean, known as marine debris, for every participating state and country, collected from 2010 and as well as 25 years of International Coastal Cleanups—the largest volunteer effort for the ocean.
The report also highlights solutions from individuals to inspire behavior change and from companies to accelerate product innovation.
With this report, Ocean Conservancy is expanding its efforts from an annual cleanup day to a year round campaign for “Trash Free Seas”.
“Images of entangled birds, turtles choking on plastic bags and floating trash have become all too familiar,” said Vikki Spruill, President and CEO of Ocean Conservancy. “You name it, we have found it on the beach and in the water. We find beach litter like cigarette butts and plastic bags, toilet seats, washing machines, abandoned fishing gear—even the proverbial kitchen sink.”
“For twenty-five years we have watched as trash has threatened ocean wildlife and ecosystems; and undermined tourism and economic activity. We’ve seen more trash to clean up, but we’ve also seen more people inspired to be part of the solution.”
“Our vision is for Trash Free Seas,” said Spruill. “This problem is preventable, and keeping our ocean free from trash is one of the easiest ways we can make the ocean more resilient. From product design to trash disposal, we all have a role to play.”
Highlighted Findings from 2010 Coastal Cleanups
- During the 25th annual Cleanup in 2010, over six hundred thousand (615,407) people removed more than eight million (8,698,572) pounds of trash.
- In 2010, volunteers collected enough tires to outfit almost fifty-five hundred (5,464) cars.
- In 2010 the amount of cigarettes/cigarette butts collected is equal to nearly ninety-five thousand (94,626) packs of cigarettes.
- The eight million pounds of trash collected during the 2010 Cleanup would cover about 170 football fields.
Highlighted Results from the Past 25 Years of Cleanups
- Fifty-three million cigarettes/cigarette filters that have been found would fill 100 Olympic-size swimming pools.
- Appliances collected over 25 years of Cleanups (117,356) would fill 32,600 dump trucks.
- Over 863 thousand (863,135) diapers would be enough to put one on every child born in the UK last year.
- Over the past 25 years, more than eight and a half million (8,763,377) volunteers have removed one hundred and forty-five million (144,606,491) pounds of trash in 152 countries and locations.
- Volunteers have collected enough cups, plates, forks, knives and spoons over 25 years to host a picnic for 2 million people.
Ocean Conservancy is building a new Trash Free Seas Alliance to bring people together to find solutions. Ocean Conservancy welcomes industries, communities and governments to collaborate on innovative ways to secure a future of Trash Free Seas.
Graphics, photos and video for media reports are available at oceanconservancy.org/iccmedia.