Ocean Project Seychelles/British high commission


16-April-2018

 

 

Good turn-out for Anse Royale beach clean-up

 

Next activity set for April 21 at Anse Forbans

 

Over forty people participated in The Ocean Project Seychelles’ most recent beach clean-up at Anse Royale last month.

The beach clean-up -- which took place on March 18 – was attended by the British high commissioner Caron Rohsler, as well as other staff members from the British high commission. Also participating in the activity were students and teachers from Anse Royale secondary eco-schools, members of the Grand Police Citizens Initiative, and other members of the community.

Attendees ensured during their one hour of cleaning up that the following items were prevented from entering the ocean: approximately 70 plastic bottles, 50 plastic straws, 100 plastic cutlery, 35kg of other hard and soft plastics (including plastic containers such as takeaway boxes and dessert cups, plastic bags, plastic film, and plastic bottle caps), 224 glass bottles, 4.8kg of clothing, 12.5kg of fishing nets, and 3.5kg of wipes and diapers.,Miscellaneous items that were collected during the clean-up included three tyres, a bus seat, and a handful of razor blades.

The organisers noted that there was an increase in the number of parents bringing young children along to the beach clean-up, as well as a notable increase in the number of tourists participating on the day.

Michelle Cummings, a visitor from South Africa, described the beach clean-up as "…an amazing experience”, and argued that “walking past a piece of plastic and not picking it up is just as bad as littering!”

Gulshan and Harpreet Mahay, a visiting couple from the United Kingdom, said:

“Tourists come to the Seychelles and typically think “sun, sea and sand”. To get involved in The Ocean Project Seychelles’ beach clean-up was our way of showing just how much we value the country’s beauty, as well as the people of the Seychelles. When we heard that young people would be contributing to the cause, it made perfect sense for us to roll up our sleeves and show that this initiative is an excellent way for everyone, including tourists, to take extra pride and appreciation of what the Seychelles has to offer.”

 

Did You Know?

A recent report undertaken by the World Economic Forum found that each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean. This is the equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. It was forecasted that, if no action is taken, this could increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050. Current research estimates that there are over 150 million tonnes of plastics in the ocean today, and that the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).

The British high commissioner, Ms Rohsler, commended the efforts of The Ocean Project Seychelles on Facebook, stating:

“There is so much to admire in the design of The Ocean Project Seychelles. It is more than just picking up litter. [They sort] the litter and [collect]… data to help inform future policy; [they give] the community a sense of ownership that leads to them protecting their environment; [they make] people think about reducing what they consume and [make] different decisions about purchases-switching from plastics; [they teach] skills and [the importance of] taking responsibility; [they teach] youngsters not to litter, [and they] hopefully, [make] passive bystanders think.”

Commenting on the impact of the increased amounts of plastics leaking into the ocean, Zara Pardiwalla, the co-founder of The Ocean Project Seychelles, said:

“Plastics do not break down, they break up into tiny pieces called microplastics. As microplastics are ingested by small organisms in the oceans, they bioaccumulate in greater concentrations up the food chain; acting as a mechanism for the transport of contaminants to higher-level predators such as tuna and swordfish. As we consume seafood, this is a great cause for concern for human health! This is because plastic is made up of carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and hormone-disruptive chemicals, and these chemicals, including other contaminants that attach to microplastics in the oceans, are potentially making their way into our bodies through seafood consumption. It is virtually impossible to clean up the oceans of all these plastics bits; this is why we need to stop plastic at the source – stop it from entering the oceans in the first place, or even making its way to the production line. There are so many alternatives available and we don’t even have to look far. We already own most of these items in our homes – cups, glass jars (as bottles), bags, etc. The little changes we make can make all the difference!”

The Ocean Project Seychelles would like to reserve a special token of thanks to CertaCito Pty Ltd - represented by Angelika Maurel, Harry Anacoura and Dennis Webster - for their much-needed donation of gloves to meet the growing demand of participants on the day. The NGO’s next beach clean-up will take place at 9.30am on Saturday April 21 in the Anse Forbans area, where participants will meet outside Hilton Doubletree. You can follow The Ocean Project Seychelles on Facebook or Instagram – @theoceanprojectsey – to keep up to date with all their clean-ups and other activities.

The accompanying photos show highlights of the Anse Royale beach clean-up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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