Malaysia has been ranked 8th in the world of worst polluters of mismanaged plastic waste.
Reef Check Malaysia needs your help in a beach trash audit! We want to collect consistent data every week on the type of trash found and if possible, where the trash originates from.
We need 5 volunteers every Saturday for one year to head to Pantai Kelanang, pick up trash for 1-2 hours, record the type of trash found (e.g. plastic bottles, straws, food wrappers, etc.) and where the trash might originate from based on their labels if they are still intact (e.g. Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, etc.).
We do expect volunteers to be self-organizing, which means that there will not be a Reef Check staff present each week at the beach clean-up. However, it is fairly easy to meet up with fellow volunteers at the location (Pantai Kelanang is not very big) and collect trash data :) We will provide you with information, a mobile app to use, and contact details of fellow volunteers. You could also gather 5 family members and friends to make it a group activity!
We want to raise awareness on the impact of waste, especially plastic waste, on the marine environment. During the clean-up, you will need to collect important data on the trash collected. If we have data every week for one year, we can analyse what type of trash found - source from Malaysia or other countries, higher volumes during monsoon, changes in amount of trash, etc. Reliable statistics empower us to lobby for a change in our recycling and waste management habits.
For example, a group collected the following items at Pantai Kelanang in September 2018:
- 332 plastic bottles
- 522 cigarette butts
- 140 plastic bags
Reviews from mission participants (1)
Plastic bottles, cigarette butts, foam takeaway containers and plastic takeaway containers– these are the four most common items found during the beach clean-up last weekend. Other items included diapers, straws, bottle caps, small toys, plastic bags, food packaging, small polystyrene pieces.
It is disheartening fact that marine litter is one of the prominent global issue that is most harmful to the marine environment. A direct solution is beach cleaning where volunteers help to collect and dispose of the rubbish found. Even though clean-ups do not address the root causes of this pollution, it certainly do make a difference. Every piece of trash that is taken away from the beach means there is one less dangerous item for birds, turtles or whales to swallow. Clean-ups restore these creatures’ habitats and also aesthetic beauty of the place.
Beach clean-ups also serve to educate. When volunteers see just how much plastic is deposited on the shores, they are often inspired to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics, and, crucially, to spread the word to others. Hopefully beach clean-ups can trigger a change in the indifferent and unconcern attitude of beach visitors who carelessly discard their rubbish.
Even a small sweet wrapper that might seem insignificant, take it with you. Inculcate the habits of taking as much rubbish with you when you leave. If everyone took out a bag full of rubbish, even a garbage dump could be emptied out easily. We are the cause and we all need to take responsibility. So take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.
On mission 'Beach Clean-Up and Trash Audit #20' · August 2019