It was a perfect, crisp morning to meet with 34 keen staff of Coca Cola Amatil to get stuck in and clean-up around Highbrook Drive. Fletcher Sunde, our Auckland Programmes Manager took us through a Love your Coast Presentation, talking 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. Then we talked through the all important Health and Safety for the day and then got out there. We very soon had an increasing pile of rubbish collected from the eastern banks of the Tāmaki Estuary – with many of the crew not phased about getting into the mangrove mud and doing the hard mahi for our harbour.
We came back for a quick tea break, then back out towards the boat-ramp on Waiouru Road where we garnered an incredible ute-full of rubbish to add to our haul. This brought us to lunchtime and a well deserved rest.
After lunch we spread out all the rubbish and got on with auditing it. Everything from straws, fishing line, car parts, food wrappers, drink bottles and lids and items of clothing were collected. We also painstakingly picked up a lot of micro-plastics along the banks. A couple of troopers even got knee deep in the mud to retrieve a truck tyre.
Seeing the total in front of us: 430kg (3400L) of rubbish – requiring an extra trailer to load it all to the refuse centre – it shocked even the more seasoned of us. None of the rubbish collected could be recycled due to its dirty state. Moral of the story, we need to stop it before it gets to our waterways. It was a satisfying day, making sure that all of that rubbish didn’t end up downstream.
Thanks to the crew at Coca-Cola Amatil for their incredible work on the day, and Michael Fleury for contacting us about this Corporate event.
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.