4th March 2014
Winner of Brand on the Beach, Vita Water joins clean up efforts
For an entire year, volunteers collected and sorted waste found on beaches by brand label. 2872 plastic bottles were picked up and identified by brand, with the top 10 brands accounting for 55% of the bottles recovered. These brands are all popular in Hong Kong.
On Sunday 2nd March 2014, Brand on the Beach brought together representatives from business, government and the community to participate in a clean up. 3 staff members from Vita joined officials from the Environmental Protection Department, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and District Office to spend a morning working with the public to collect the vast amount of rubbish that washes up on Pebbles Beach, Lamma Island.
137 plastic bottles were picked up, including 8 containing pee. This brings the total number of plastic bottles picked up in 2014 from this one small beach facing Hong Kong Island to 575.
The clean up effort also recorded 25 bags of polystyrene waste and 15 further bags of assorted waste including 52 juice boxes, 20 cans, 15 glass bottles, 9 light bulbs, 22 shoes, 3 pairs of trousers, 3 tops, 3 pairs of shorts, 1 pink holdall, 2 pillows, 1 gas canister, 41 lighters, 470 plastic lids, 153 straws, 57 plastic forks and spoons, 6 toothbrushes, 26 fishing floats, 8 syringes, 5 aerosol sprays, 3 silicone tubes, a workman’s helmet, 2 paint brushes, 2 large plastic Mobile oil containers and 2 additional lids, as well as assorted food wrappers and a large pile of rope and netting.
The beach is cleaned regularly and each clean up tells the same sad story: Hong Kong is producing too much waste and we are not disposing of it responsibly. What many people will not appreciate is the effect of so much plastic on our wildlife and our food chain.
Living Lamma, a local residents’ group which initiated Brand on the Beach, has already carried out two clean ups at the same location this year. The group is now working with Heroes2 to raise awareness of the problem and gather support for a Hong Kong-wide competition to redesign bin areas with the aim of facilitating responsible waste disposal.
Jo Wilson, campaigner at Living Lamma explained, “Despite the heroic efforts of cleaning staff, our bins are often overflowing and dirty. They are simply not designed to encourage good behaviour. Many people don’t realize that litter on the streets and slopes will end up in our seas, and back onto our beaches. We hope that a design competition with engage people from all walks of life and that the winning designs will help people change their habits so that our kids can enjoy a clean and safe environment.”
Raymond Yap, CEO of Heroes2, added, “We were delighted by the participation of Vita and the government departments. This is a major step forward. It was also great to see so many children helping to make a difference. It is for their well-being and welfare that we must continue with efforts to stem the flow of trash into our oceans.”
Living Lamma is a group of resident volunteers on Lamma Island who use their spare time to help improve the environment in which they live
Heroes2 is a not-for-profit organisation focused on improving the living environment through engagement and creative actions.
For more information about Brand on the Beach, see:
Clean Up Sunday 2nd March: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agt5LNgGR6M&feature=share
Clean Up Sunday 12th January: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f31I0Pt-9k
The First Brand on the Beach December 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCUSZyZdZxY
The story of Brand on the Beach has been fictionalized and won the prize for most creative entry in the SCMP/RTHK short story competition 2013 (see attached). The account of what was found at the beach during the year is entirely true.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call David Leung at 24610208 or 96463044.