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Ocean Park Continues its Support to International Coastal Cleanup for the 10th Year

2013-11-24

Ocean Park announces its continuous support to the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) for 10 consecutive years! While the main contributors to marine debris - plastic bags, plastic bottles and construction materials dropped by 10 to 30 per cent in the last two years, figures from the International Coastal Cleanup Report showed that the number of cigarette butts had doubled from 3,036 pieces in 2011 to 6,133 pieces last year. Ocean Park’s Deputy Chief Executive and Environmental Steering Committee Chairman, Matthias Li, urged smokers to handle their cigarette butts in a more responsible manner for the protection of environment. Ocean Park, which had contributed to the International Coastal Cleanup in the last nine years, brought nearly 100 volunteers to clean up the beaches next to the park as well as at Cape D’Anguilar in the past weekend.  67 bags of trash which weighed 223 kg were collected.
 
Ocean Park’s Deputy Chief Executive and Environmental Steering Committee Chairman, Matthias Li, said, “Ocean Park has always been a strong advocate of coastal protection and conservation in Hong Kong by supporting activities such as the International Coastal Cleanup. Every year, we collect over 100 kilograms of marine debris along the coastline and just last year, we broke our records in collecting over 300 kilograms of debris, and that was only just the tip of the iceberg. We hope everyone can play their part in protecting the ocean by doing simple and effective things in our everyday life, like bringing their own shopping bags and water bottles when going out or bringing their own food container when purchasing take-away food. Ocean Park will launch a year-long campaign to promote debris free Oceans in December 2013.”

Regarding the increased number of cigarette butts collected on the beach by the park’s volunteer team, Mr. Li speculated that this may have been caused by smokers casually dumping cigarette butts on the street, which then gets transferred out to the sea through street drains, causing them to be washed onto beaches by the waves.

Apart from coastal cleaning, volunteers were also educated on the impact of environmental pollution on marine life by the park. Mrs. Leung, who participated in today’s event said, “Apart from spending time together doing something meaningful, the activity also enable my children to see how much of an impact humankind can cause, and the large amount of rubbish collected really surprised them.  I think this is a great opportunity for my kids to learn about the importance of conservation. We also tell them to be responsible and play their part in conservation as their beloved dolphins are also currently under threat.”