Phoenix Organics have been a long time sponsor of Sustainable Coastlines, providing us with financial support and delicious plastic-free drinks to refresh our volunteers after events. At least once a year, we also hit the coasts with the crew of Phoenix to remind us why we’re in this together.
On Friday, 23 November 2018, we headed to Rangitoto for the morning with 25 Phoenix staff and another 25 volunteers who snapped up some free tickets provided by Phoenix. As with all Sustainable Coastlines events, the first action was to educate everyone on why we were doing what we were doing. This took the form of a short Love Your Coast presentation, delivered by Sustainable Coastlines programmes manager, Fletcher Sunde. Following a safety briefing from programmes coordinator, Shelley Butt, the team hit the coast to the west of the Rangitoto Wharf, toward Flax Point.
Rangitoto, as beautiful as it is, is one of those places that cops the full force of Auckland’s litter issue, sitting right in the middle of the outgoing tide from the Waitemata Harbour. Because of this, whenever you go to Rangi, you always find new rubbish, no matter when you were there last. Our crew focused on this Auckland-facing shore and found countless pieces of small plastics, from cigarette butts and bottle tops to asthma inhalers and plastic bottles – all sorts of common, everyday items that had found their way into our ocean. Ubiquitous amongst all this were plastic nurdles – resin pellets that are the raw materials in almost all plastic manufacture. Unfortunately, there are places on Rangitoto where these are more common than shells. The team did what they could, and their eyes were opened.
We spent approximately one and a half hours on the clean-up before making our way back for a well-deserved lunch and of course a Phoenix Organics refreshment. We had time to get a visual off the rubbish we collected, layed out on a tarpaulin, before the obligatory celebratory photo and back on the 12:45pm ferry, bound for Auckland.
All up it was a successful day of clean-up action and awareness raising, all thanks to our good friends at Phoenix Organics. We’re looking forward to continuing this relationship and seeing the crew out on the coastline again soon.