|2,019kg rubbish from beach clean-up! | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.
Kota Kinabalu: The Body Shop Malaysia Coastal Clean-up Volunteers managed to collect more than two tonnes of rubbish from just a 500-metre stretch of the Tanjung Lipat beach here on Saturday.
The 2,019.5kg rubbish collected comprised mainly discarded plastic bags and water bottles, but there were also some large items such as discarded children's walkers and even as large as truck tyres.
The inaugural Sabah BodyShop clean-up event, which saw about 150 volunteers comprising Body Shop staff, iM4U volunteers comprising students from two higher learning institutions and members of the public, was flagged off by Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry's Permanent Secretary Datu Rusmadi Datu Sulai together with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.
"The ministry welcomes the initiative carried out by the Body Shop today and today's event also happens to fall on National Volunteering Day in conjunction with Malaysia Day and we have taken this challenge to organise a beach clean-up campaign today.
Rusmadi, who was representing Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, said this in his speech at the launching of the Body Shop Malaysia's 31st International Coastal Clean-up.
"The most important is cleanliness efforts…this was illustrated today by the Mayor himself when I saw him pick up two discarded mineral water bottles that were lying on the ground when he arrived. This shows any cleanliness effort must also first start from the heart.
"There is no need for someone to be instructed or placed in a group to start to keep clean but it must be our instinct already when we see something like litter on the ground, to pick it up to ensure that our natural environment is clean.
"This is because this natural environment is something that we inherit now for our future generation to come," he said, adding that the beach cleanliness effort today was not only to clean up the beach but also identify items of rubbish collected."
Rusmadi said his ministry will continue to support efforts such as this and to partly sponsor the activities carried out.
According to a statement released by Body Shop Malaysia Managing Director Datin Mina Cheah Foong, for the Body Shop organisation to be truly sustainable would mean shaping their business to work in line with the planet's natural systems so they can replenish and restore themselves.
"Therefore, keeping our local waterways, beaches, lakes and rivers clean is not just one day a year.
It has to be done continuously. The purpose of picking up the trash is not only just to keep clean but to prevent it from blowing back to the water and harming marine life.
"The primary goal is to keep trash out of the waterways, educate the community and getting people to go outside to see the waste for themselves.
"It is hoped by having this annual activity more people will take the initiative to come together with their families and colleagues to clean our coastal lines. We are indeed pleased that the Ministry of Tourism Sabah has come on board with us together with iM4U.
"Together with the volunteerism programme we are hoping to achieve and to cultivate clean and rubbish free beaches in Malaysia," she said.
During the event, the participating volunteer teams were also required to record the types of rubbish collected whereby their data collected would be organised and analysed, tracked and sent to the Ocean Conservancy organisation where the results would be published so that steps can be taken to combat the impact of marine trash and debris on the environment. Also present at the event was Body Shop Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Molly Fong and her team from Kuala Lumpur.