Volunteers Needed for International Coastal Clean-up Day 2018 in Malaysia
Reef Check Malaysia, together with The Body Shop and Coca-Cola Malaysia, is organizing a nationwide beach clean-up on Saturday, 22 September 2018, in conjunction with the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day.
Partners and friends of Reef Check, from individuals to companies, will lead beach cleanups in an area of their choice. International Coastal Cleanups around the world are part of the global effort to combat marine debris, a particular focus in 2018, the International Year of the Reef (IYOR).
This clean-up will be the second in a series of events that Reef Check Malaysia has planned for IYOR 2018. A much smaller cleanup was conducted in March which saw 500 people in 16 locations around Malaysia collect over 2.6 tonnes of trash from 15km of coastline. The final haul included 15,974 plastic bottles, 6,884 plastic bags, 2,368 cigarette butts…and 203 diapers.
Cleanup efforts are intended to raise awareness and bring attention to the problem of marine debris, especially plastic waste, which represents a serious threat to marine ecosystems. As has been widely reported, plastic pollution is having a devastating effect on marine life, is distributed even in the deepest waters, and has found its way into the human food chain, particularly through the consumption of shellfish.
Reef Check Malaysia is attempting to tackle the problem of plastic pollution by moving beyond beach cleanups and cutting off the problem at the source. RCM is currently collaborating with a number of partners from industry to goverment to prevent trash from reaching beaches in the first place with a target of eliminating the need for beach cleanups within 10 years. A workshop in late July gathered representatives from brands, plastic manufacturers and suppliers, government, waste management companies and recycling companies, to agree the terms of reference for a multi-stakeholder workshop to be held in November.
Further events include the ICC beach clean workshops in October and November that will include global plastic conference specialists Plasticity. All the workshops in the plastic waste campaign are co-lead by RCM and Coca-Cola.