KPMG are a long time partner of Sustainable Coastlines and on 25 November 2016 a group of 53 rolled their sleeves up and got stuck into the well know litter spots of Rangitoto Island, in our beautiful Hauraki Gulf. KPMG’s Matt Davies did a great job of organising the large crew, and by 9am the volunteers were lugging BBQ’s, tables, sacks, food, water and much more onto the Fullers ferry in downtown Auckland.
By 10am the group was gathered and settled underneath Rangitoto’s tourist shelter where Sustainable Coastlines’ Fletcher Sunde delivered a health and safety briefing and a review of the causes, problems and solutions to plastics in our oceans. It was emphasised that people often don’t make the connection between dropping rubbish on the mainland and it eventually ending up on the beach, or worse, inside wildlife and into our food chain.
The team split in two, with one group, lead by Sustainable Coastlines’ Jodi Pretscherer, heading east toward Islington Bay while the other headed west along the bach-fronts with Fletcher. Positioning the cleaners along the right stretch of coast was a bit trickier than usual, with this time of year being black-backed gull nesting season, causing the birds to be very territorial and excluding the team from some stretches of coast.
The groups both did amazingly well, picking up a staggering number of small pieces of plastic. Rangitoto catches the full force of Auckland’s rubbish problem and this became very evident as the morning passed. In particular, the numbers of plastic resin pellets, the pre-cursors to almost all of the world’s plastic products, were found to be almost ubiquitous along the shores of Rangitoto. Wherever there was a patch of wrack (brown seaweed) washed up on the shore, there were sure to be pellets found.
After a couple of hours of heads down, the weather turned and the team headed back to base for a well-deserved lunch. As we rounded the point near the wharf we could smell the scent of delicious organic sausages on the BBQ’s! Chef Mathias and his volunteer assistance had been hard at it, preparing a delicious lunch for a well deserving team.
Post lunch the rain cleared and before photos were taken and the ferry was boarded, the rubbish needed to be audited – a great job for a team from KPMG, someone quipped. Another coastal cleaner had great idea – “shouldn’t the audit be done by our interns?” “Yes, it absolutely should be”, said someone high in the command chain. So the interns audited the rubbish while the rest of the crew enjoyed a bit of well-earned free time. Following the audit, photos and high-fives were aplenty before a beer or wine was enjoyed on the ferry home.
We want to send out thanks for to the awesome team from KPMG for their efforts on Rangitoto. Auckland, and indeed, the whole world needs caring corporates like these guys and we can’t wait to see them again next year. Big ups to Matt for the organisation from KPMG’s side – a big crew and an awesome day!