Shocked by FIVE kg of straws @ Tanah Merah Beach 7 – the World Environment Day Coastal Cleanup

On Saturday 6th June 2015, 52 participants removed more than 632kg of trash in 89 trash bags at Tanah Merah Beach 7. After an introduction to the site and procedural briefing, ICCS Deputy Coordinator Kai Scene conducted a comprehensive safety briefing.2015-06-06 08.10.28

ICCS Dy Coord Ng Kai Scene conducting the safety briefing before the cleanup

Straws stood out that day at Tanah Merah Beach 7. I overheard a few comments about the numerous straws on the beach and decided to focus on collecting straws alone. I ended up with a whopping 5kg of straws!

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As they cleaned the beach, participants observed the biodiversity at Tanah Merah Beach. The intertidal zone was covered in Tape seagrass (Enhalus Acoroides), and Batillaria snails (Batillaria zonalis), as well as burrows created by Sand bubbler crabs (Scopimera sp.) and Ghost crabs (Ocypode sp.)! I counted 24 casts from the Acorn Worm (Enteropneusta sp.), and 15 Haddon’s Carpet Anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni).

Furthermore, the low morning tide of 0.2m allowed us to witness the beautiful coral reefs of Tanah Merah! Sandpaper corals (Psammocora sp.), Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.), Pore corals (Porites sp.), Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.), and Favid Corals (family Faviidae) have been reported from here. Read more about the living reefs of Tanah Merah on Ria Tan’s blog post.

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After 90 minutes, we began to weigh the trash bags and formed a human chain to move them from the beach to the Trash Collection Point at the carpark. later that afternoon, a contractor detached by NEA’s Department of Public Cleanliness would later collect them. Everyone worked really hard together to transport the trash efficiently!

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With the hard work of the day accomplished, we debriefed the participants at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, and discussed everyday solutions to reduce waste generation. Avoiding disposables by bringing your own tumbler and lunchbox begins to make a difference. Refusing a straw for your drink – and encouraging your friends and family to do the same begins to get us to think about upstream solutions.

These actions help us  reduce the amount of waste we send to incinerators in Singapore, but also begins to address our throw-away culture.

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Some of the 44 participants with the 89 bags of trash!

Congratulations to everyone who came down for the world Environment Day cleanup. See you at the next cleanup!

Celebrate World Environment Day with a coastal cleanup @ Tanah Merah 7!

In conjunction with World Environment Day, volunteers with International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) will be conducting a marine trash cleanup at Tanah Merah Beach 7 on Sat 06 Jun 2015: 8.00am – 10.30am.

Registration is closed, thank you to everyone who signed up!

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World Environment Day is a day sanctioned by the United Nations (UN) that aims to raise global awareness about the environment and encourage everyone to take positive action to protect our natural environment.

Why Cleanup? In Singapore, our coastlines host a vast amount of biodiversity. Trash present in these areas can impact our wildlife adversely and devalue the natural beauty of the landscape. Volunteers in Singapore, like other concerned individuals around the world, conduct coastal cleanups to remove this trash, raise awareness about the impact of marine trash, and motivate us to adopt sustainable practises in daily urban living.

Tanah Merah Beach 7 is state land located in the east of Singapore, next to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT). This area is closed to members of the public and permission is needed for access .

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At first view, Tanah Merah Beach 7 appears pristine. However, within the vegetation of the high strandline lies accumulated trash.

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Meeting Point: On the event day of 6th June 2015, we will meet at 7.45am at Carpark D opposite the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT), and walk over to the cleanup site.

Directions from Tanah Merah MRT to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT)

  • Participants can take bus 35 from the Tanah Merah MRT bus stop (bus code: 85091).
  • Alight 4 stops later, at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal bus stop (bus code: 96219).
  • Yang Yiyong (see image below) will be stationed at the TMFT bus stop, so alight when you see him! He will be wearing a bright red shirt.

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Directions to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT)

Itinerary 

  • 7:45am – We meet at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal carpark, and walk over to the cleanup site together.
  • 8.00am – Briefing and identification of Trash Collection Point (TCP). Brief of wet weather plans (which is to carry on unless there is a lighting threat). Organise everyone into groups of four, apply insect repellant, collect gloves, trash bags, and other required logistics.
  • 8.15am – Cleanup begins @ TM7 Beach
  • 9.30am – End of clean-up. Trash is weighed and discussion/ reflection time.
  • 9.45am – Transportation of trash to TCP.
  • 10.15am – Participants clean up. Recreational facilities are available at the nearby Ferry Terminal.
  • 10.30am – Event ends.

Things to note

  1. Gloves, trash bags and weighing scales are provided.
  2. You must wear hard-soled covered shoes or booties to to protect your feet from hazards.
  3. A change of clothes is recommended after a sweaty workout.
  4. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from insect bites, but bermudas are fine.
  5. In the event of bad weather, we will continue the cleanup. The event will stop in the case of lightning threat.

Things to bring:

  1. Water bottle (with at least one litre of water)
  2. Hat and/ or sun block
  3. Reusable raincoat/ poncho
  4. Towel to wipe off sand and mud

Be prepared:

  1. Sleep early the night before
  2. Have a decent breakfast – it’s hard work!
  3. Be punctual – we are unable to wait for latecomers; tide waits for no one!
  4. Refer to this recce report of TM7 for more information on the cleanup site.
  5. Please read our advice to participants to prepare yourself for the cleanup!

Thank you for caring for the environment!