Getting the litter off our beaches

Cleaning up our coastline

Cleaning up our coastline

Beach rubbish removed and one duckling rescued . . . Plastic Bag-Free Tairawhiti teamed up with Sustainable Coastlines to clean up Waikanae Beach at the weekend. Pictured with some of the 850 litres of trash are Glenda Smith, Nicky Solomon, Kya Solomon, Camden Howitt, Sarah Hearfield, Diane Taylor, Oliver Vetter and Sandy Britain. Picture supplied
Citizen scientists in action: Sustainable Coastlines’ Oliver Vetter with volunteers collate rubbish data. Pictures by Cinema East
Volunteers collected more than 850 litres of rubbish from the town beaches at the weekend. Working with Sustainable Coastlines, Plastic Bag-Free Tairawhiti and community participants contributed to the national litter project, a database designed to track accumulations of rubbish around New Zealand coastlines

About 150 Gisborne community members participated in a nationwide litter project over the weekend and in the process removed 850 litres of rubbish from Waikanae Beach.

The national litter project run in conjunction with Sustainable Coastlines, Plastic Bag-Free Tairawhiti and Eastland Port was also the final event as part of Plastic-Free July for the city.

Plastic Bag-Free Tairawhiti representative Nicky Solomon said working together on a meaningful project like this was good for the community.

“We are really thrilled to be part of the Sustainable Coastlines litter project, which will help inform decision-makers about the extent of the plastic pollution issue.

“The environmental impact of plastic is receiving the attention it deserves right now, so we’re delighted to work with Sustainable Coastlines on this initiative,” she said.

An unexpected discovery, but undoubtedly the most welcome find during the beach clean-up, was a duckling found alone by the waterline.

The duckling was carefully rescued and escorted to a safer location.

The national litter project is led by charity Sustainable Coastlines and plans to roll out a litter education curriculum for schools, establish a national litter database alongside Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation and Statistics New Zealand, and bring these programmes to communities around New Zealand.

The charity will train ‘‘Citizen Scientists’’ across the country to collect data from their local beach, using a United Nations environment programme methodology.

Educators nationwide will be trained to deliver a new curriculum-aligned behaviour change programme that aims to curb single-plastic consumption and reduce litter.

“We have an amazing community and this project is a very special thing to be a part of,” said Dr Solomon.

“We were extremely touched and overwhelmed by the turnout. I want to thank everyone who came along, as well as the team from Sustainable Coastlines and Eastland Port for making this collaboration possible.”

The next beach clean-up is on August 26 at Kaiti Beach.

For more details, contact Tairawhiti Environment Centre on 867 4708.

About 150 Gisborne community members participated in a nationwide litter project over the weekend and in the process removed 850 litres of rubbish from Waikanae Beach.

The national litter project run in conjunction with Sustainable Coastlines, Plastic Bag-Free Tairawhiti and Eastland Port was also the final event as part of Plastic-Free July for the city.

Plastic Bag-Free Tairawhiti representative Nicky Solomon said working together on a meaningful project like this was good for the community.

“We are really thrilled to be part of the Sustainable Coastlines litter project, which will help inform decision-makers about the extent of the plastic pollution issue.

“The environmental impact of plastic is receiving the attention it deserves right now, so we’re delighted to work with Sustainable Coastlines on this initiative,” she said.

An unexpected discovery, but undoubtedly the most welcome find during the beach clean-up, was a duckling found alone by the waterline.

The duckling was carefully rescued and escorted to a safer location.

The national litter project is led by charity Sustainable Coastlines and plans to roll out a litter education curriculum for schools, establish a national litter database alongside Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation and Statistics New Zealand, and bring these programmes to communities around New Zealand.

The charity will train ‘‘Citizen Scientists’’ across the country to collect data from their local beach, using a United Nations environment programme methodology.

Educators nationwide will be trained to deliver a new curriculum-aligned behaviour change programme that aims to curb single-plastic consumption and reduce litter.

“We have an amazing community and this project is a very special thing to be a part of,” said Dr Solomon.

“We were extremely touched and overwhelmed by the turnout. I want to thank everyone who came along, as well as the team from Sustainable Coastlines and Eastland Port for making this collaboration possible.”

The next beach clean-up is on August 26 at Kaiti Beach.

For more details, contact Tairawhiti Environment Centre on 867 4708.

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Nicky Solomon - 1 year ago
Heartfelt thanks also to all of the people and organisations that made Sunday's event possible, many of whom have been supporting us for the duration of the PBFT journey.
Special thanks to Morley Design Group, Pak'nSave, the Village Butcher, Ideal Dairy Four Square, BDO, the Gisborne Boys' High team on the BBQ, the Tairawhiti Environment Centre, DoC, Gisborne Boardriders, GDC, Recreational Services, the Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club, the Waikanae Top 10 Holiday Park and the Gisborne Vehicle Testing Station.
Thanks to everyone who donated part of their Sunday to this awesome cause - our registers clocked 221 people, and we suspect that a few sneaked by us, so I think we can safely say that there were at least 250 people working together to make our place better. That's an amazing thing and something that our region can be really proud of.

Gary - 1 year ago
Great work... but ironically, are they putting the rubbish in plastic bags? Can't we just use buckets and empty into a skip? Yes I know the buckets will more than likely be plastic, but you can refill them more than once. And it slows the use of plastic bags on the beaches. Just a thought for the next one.

Nicky Solomon - 1 year ago
Thanks so much for your comments Gary and yes we do cringe at putting the rubbish in plastic bags! Without boring you with the details - we are using up a supply of plastic bags that were provided to us when participating in a 'Keep New Zealand Beautiful' clean-up last year (ironic I know). Once these are used up we will use paper bags. As a bunch of volunteers we can't really afford to hire a skip each month, but we will definitely keep thinking about better ways to deal with the rubbish. Really keen to hear any suggestions! Thanks again.

John Dacey, Whitianga - 1 year ago
The team at Liquid Processing Equipment have been busy in our spare time collecting plastic and all types of rubbish from beaches on the NZ coastline as we travel to visit wineries. On a recent trip to Samoa we picked up plastic along the beach at the Sheraton Hotel as others watched on in disbelief. Who cares? We need to do more, and recycling glass bottles would help.