Our oceans are facing greater risks owing to increased amounts of waste and pollution such as accumulation of ‘single-use plastics’ and toxic chemicals.
A beach area reflects the ocean’s devastation where the majority of the waste accumulated is from the ocean. 80% of the seabed in the western province of Sri Lanka’s is polluted while it is estimated that by 2050, plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean. 80% of marine trash comes from land-based sources. Although it is an entirely man-made problem, it is also entirely preventable. This is by refusing single-use items, reducing waste, reusing items and recycling trash.
Volunteering to clean a beach is an excellent opportunity to witness the marine destruction caused. It also helps in building community cohesion, social interaction, community awareness, volunteering skills and directly impacts in protecting our marine environment.
By following this beach cleanup guide, individuals and organizations can conduct beach cleaning events in a proper and organized manner.
Organizations must take the initiative in inspiring, recognizing and appreciating the volunteers before, during and after conducting a beach cleaning event. It is also important to follow the beach cleaning guidelines, pre-site visiting, volunteer briefing prior to the event, provide necessities/resources and supervise volunteers while at site.
Beach waste survey data is very important to be gathered, maintained and shared. Customize your own survey form and complete it while cleaning the beach or at the end. The cleaned waste must be recorded according to step 4 categories; based on the amount of bags or weight. Share your surveyed statistics with @pearlprotectors.
Experts agree that the entire beach should be avoided after a major storm for at least 72 hours because of the potential risks to human health. Volunteers below the age of 16 must always be supervised.
Volunteers must follow a code-of-conduct where priority must be on professionalism, consideration of the surrounding, team building, being empathetic and follow local rules and regulations.
While beach cleaning is fun and interactive, it is also important to increase awareness while being inspired to protect the marine environment of Sri Lanka.