International Coastal Clean-up Day is celebrated every third Saturday of the month of September.

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Oceans are the life blood of our planet, covering nearly three quarters of the earth and holding 97% of its waters, oceans produce half of the oxygen and absorb most of the carbon in the atmosphere. About half of the word’s population lives on coastal zones, many depending on the ocean for their survival. But the oceans are suffering, choking from the tonnes of waste that wash into then everyday.

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The International Coastal Cleanup day is set aside to bring awareness to this problem. Most of the waste comes from landfills that wash into the oceans. Waste that ends up in the rivers, washing down from land and ocean-going vessels that dump waste while at sea.

Due to the heat from the sun, friction from other materials and water currents, these plastics break down over time. They eventually become micro-plastics. Micro-plastics move down to the sea beds and eventually form a layer, finding their way into aquatic plants and life. These also end up in the systems of sea life, poisoning them slowly. These fish will eventually end up on our plates.

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Aquatic life

It is these harmful results that inspire people to participate in the International Coastal Clean-up Day. On ICC day, all kinds of unusual items are found. E.G. plastics, car tires, building material and flip flops.

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Once all the plastic is collected, it has to be disposed of efficiently to ensure it doesn’t find its way back into the ocean. “We have a plastic recycling centre that is processing all of that plastic waste which then goes into the recycling industries where it’s turned into other products. “ – Steve Trott; Project Development manager, WMA

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It is critical that we ALL get involved in every little way in ensuring that our beaches and oceans are free of litter.

 

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