We chose a perfect day to be out in the sunshine to do some mahi on the beach with the fine folk at the Better Drinks Company – the New Zealand based parent company to many beloved brands such as Phoenix Organic and Charlie’s.
The 12 Better Drinks staff, two Sustainable Coastlines and two IVHQ international volunteers all met at Eric Armishaw Park in Point Chevalier, warmed up with a hot drink and listened to Sustainable Coastlines Programmes Coordinator Shelley Butt delivered a Love Your Coast presentation. She talked about the impacts of plastics on the creatures that live in and around the oceans and things we can do to minimise those impacts: refusing, reducing, reusing and recycling. We talked through the all important health and safety for the day and then got out there.
The site lent itself well to those who wanted to get stuck into the mud in the low-tide mangrove area, get out onto the beach, scramble over the rocks or stay in the park – just an hour scouring the banks of Eric Armishaw Reserve and we soon had a pile of rubbish laid out in front of us, garnering surprised comments from passers-by. Everything from straws, car parts, building materials, jandals, a dirty nappy and loads of plastic bags and food and drink packaging were found, despite Sustainable Coastlines having been at the same spot only two months before. Many plastic bottles found were either photo-degraded or contaminated – making them unable to put into recycling. We suspect that with the motorway just a stone’s throw away, litter from this ends up in the oceans and then some of it lands back on our shores.
Thank you to Ruby Romanos for organising her team, and for bringing the refreshing Phoenix drinks we all enjoyed after the clean-up, the staff of the Better Drinks Company who chose to come down and use their morning making New Zealand a cleaner place and the IVHQ volunteers who helped us run the day.
If you would like to run a clean-up/ team building session with us AND at the same time do a great service for our oceans, contact us at Sustainable Coastlines and we would be happy to chat through your options.