Scubafish and International CleanUp Day – Huge Success!
International Coastal Clean Up Day (ICC), the largest volunteer network worldwide, fell on the 19th September this year. In 2008, 390,881 volunteers in 102 countries collected 3,090 tons of debris from shorelines around the planet for ICC.
It is now supported by Project AWARE, the Thai Department for Marine Coastal Resources, Greenfins and a multitude of local and international organisations. In observance of Ramadan and respect for the local Muslim Community, Kantiang efforts were postponed for a week and therefore took place on the 26th of September 2009.
This year’s activities were a resounding success and three times more people than last year turned out to join in the community spirit.
With plastic accounting for over 80% of all marine debris, our focus this year aimed to specifically highlight the need to reduce plastic bags use. With Event Sponsors funding re-useable, non-plastic baggies for every volunteer to take home, we hope to provide a practical alternative – ‘Do Something Drastic – Say No to Plastic’.
Kantiang Beach & Village Clean-Up
All equipment (gloves, bags, water, ice coffee, rubbish trucks) was provided along with a video briefing on safety & collection guidelines.
Three separate groups of volunteers were assigned different areas to clear, including the river, the beach and the main village street. The debris was collected and information was catalogued and recorded, (e.g. drink cans, smoking-related activities, clothing, plastics etc.) to help identify the general sources of marine and coastal debris.
All trash was then weighed on the Scubafish, home-made, balance scale, which became somewhat of a live show creating much intrigue, amusement and participation by the children. The scales were constructed from articles from around the dive shop, and compared the weight of each bin bag of collected debris to standard lead dive weights.
The work was hard, hot and dirty but astoundingly 3,528 kgs of rubbish was collected in under an hour and a half!
Results showed that, around the Kantiang Bay area, shoreline & recreational activities accounted for almost 400 cigarette butts, 720 plastic bags, 382 glass bottles, 314 beverage cans, more than 700 straws and stirrers, almost 1,000 caps and lids, more than 300 food wrappers & containers, and unpleasantly, over a hundred diapers! Rubbish left through ocean & waterway activities included almost 50 fishing nets, over 1,000 different pieces of rope, and more than 20 light bulbs/tubes.
Scubafish and Narima Diving are proud members of Greenfins Thailand, who are joint Thailand coordinators of this event, along with the DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources). It will be their responsibility to collate all the ICC data from clean-ups like these around the country for both the Ocean Conservancy and Thai government departments.
Pimalai Resort & Spa, Same Same But Different, Baan Laanta Resort, Phra Nang Lanta Resort, The Narima Bungalow Resort, Eyes Lanta Lifestyle Resort, Drunken Sailor’s Cafe, Why Not Bar, and Win Jeang Surf Clothing Shop.
We would also like to thank the following organisations for their support of this event: Ko Lanta Yai District Office, Klong Hin School, Kantiang Bay View Resort, Aqua Bar, Lanta Marine Park View Resort, Shroom Bar, 9 Art Gallery, Simply Life and Drunken Tailors.