On Saturday, September 17, 2022, International Coastal Cleanup Day took place. A lot of wonderful initiatives around the world were arranged, contributing to cleaner oceans and beaches, as well as educating people on waste management. One such arrangement took place in Mombasa, Kenya, where two of the organisations that joined the coastal cleanup are Plastiks partners.
Plastiks partners Vintz Plastics and Rintz Industries join International Coastal Cleanup Day.
For every mile of ocean, there are at least 46,000 pieces of plastic debris floating around. That’s why International Coastal Cleanup Day was initiated 30 years ago, as a way to raise awareness about the growing problem of pollution on various beaches around the world. On this day, millions of volunteers, governments and organizations unite to tackle the global waste problem and build a sustainable world.
Krish Varsani, who is Head of Digital Marketing at Vintz Plastics, participated in the cleanup and told us about the day.
Joining forces with 40 organizations
Among the 40 projects joining the initiative, the major ones were Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Coast Guard and Mombasa County governor from the Government side. And from the private sector there was DHL, Hapag-Lloyd, Equity bank, Mombasa cement. In addition to all the organizations, there were also many local volunteers coming out to help.
“The best thing we saw was the local government schools that sent their students to help us scour the beach for even the tiniest pieces of plastic.” – Krish Varsani
The initiative was conceptualized by Ocean controversy and KWS. The government helped by guarding the beach and sea, dedicating a team of 30 soldiers to clean the whole stretch of beach. The government also provided Navy SEALs to help clean up trash from the ocean, Krish said.
On this day, a total of 2 tons of trash were removed from the 200 km beach stretch between Mombasa and Lamu, and approximately 1,500 kg was plastic waste. All of the plastic recovered was then sent to Vintz Plastics recycling center to be recycled.
The initiative creates better living conditions
A beach cleanup is not the solution for the plastic waste problem. Even though cleaner coasts and healthier wildlife is obviously a huge positive effect, the main objective of the initiative is education. At the cleanup in Mombasa, the main purpose was to educate the community. Students, beach goers and even tourists got to learn how they can reduce their plastic output, and how to properly identify and clean the plastics they find on the beach (or anywhere they go) in Mombasa County, Krish said.
It’s not surprising to hear that the initiative received a lot of love from the locals.
“A lot of the locals came up to us and thanked us for what we were doing and told us to keep on coming back. They consisted of fishermen that get plastic lodged in their boat turbines, to people that use the beach for physical activity and find themselves surrounded by bottles, needles, fishing nets and small sharp shreds of plastic.”
The organizations also visited schools to educate children about the dangers of plastic waste, how to identify the plastic, how to recycle it and how they can even make art from bottle caps.
While cleanups create better living conditions for both locals and marine life, awareness campaigns will lay the foundation for younger generations to have the knowledge on how to live a more sustainable life. After all, education is the key to reducing waste long term.
The power of the people
Since International Costal Cleanups launch, more than 17 million volunteers have collected more than 158 million kilos of trash. Proving the power of collective effort. Everyone can do something, and together we can make a huge difference.
You can fight plastic pollution in several ways, wherever you are in the world. By volunteering at local cleanups, reducing your own use of plastics, learning more about the problem, educating others, and by sponsoring the recovery of plastics on the Plastiks marketplace.
Every action and every effort matters. Join the fight today by connecting with Plastiks.