Who we are | Sustainable Coastlines

Our kaupapa

We are a New Zealand charity that exists to protect the moana we all love by bringing people together to reduce plastic pollution and other litter.

Our goal is to see 60% less litter on the coastlines of Aotearoa New Zealand by 2030. We intend to achieve this by empowering communities to take action for their local beach through coastal clean-up events, educational programmes, public awareness campaigns, and litter data collection.

Since we began in 2009, our volunteers have removed more than 1.8 million litres of litter from coastlines across Aotearoa. Most commonly, that litter includes things like food wrappers, polystyrene, rope, bottle tops, and cigarette butts. Removing this harmful litter from our marine environment makes for happier ecosystems and healthier wildlife.

But to stop the flow of plastic pollution and other litter to our coastlines, we need to look upstream. When people attend a beach clean-up and see the problem first-hand, we see the sparks of behaviour change. Alongside the changes people can make in their everyday lives, Sustainable Coastlines enables people to ask the right questions and take action to influence broader change.

Litter data collection is a big part of this. We know there’s a problem, but having specifics about the litter in our waterways, our stormwater drains, and on our beaches helps people make decisions about where to focus their efforts.

This is why we are proud to deliver Litter Intelligence, Aotearoa’s first national litter database, which enables citizen scientists to collect litter data at their local beach. We make this data available for anyone to use, and we work with communities, schools, businesses, councils, and government to inspire change in behaviour, policy, and practices to improve the litter problem in the places we love.