On Saturday the 29th Feb, the community of Christchurch joined together with Hirepool and Sustainable Coastlines to clean three of the most prominent beaches in the area. With over 250 participants, the day saw over 4000 litres of rubbish picked from the Sumner, Lyttelton and New Brighton beaches.
The Big Clean initiative, run through a collaboration of Hirepool and Sustainable Coastlines is now in its second year, and after a first successful run along the Onehunga beach in 2019 the two companies were pleased to see the success in the South island.
Hirepool Marketing Manager Shaun Owen was grateful for the volunteers who turned out on Saturday afternoon to help collect 4450 litres of rubbish, equivalent to 88 wheelbarrow loads.
“There was a large amount of litter collected by Cantabrians over the weekend. Their efforts have helped to make Christchurch beaches cleaner. Let’s hope that other people can be just as vigilant and understand that we all have an important role to play in rehabilitating our shores and that more needs to be done to save our sealife,” says Owen.
Avonside Girls' High School student Ella Yeoman, 16, who heads up the school’s environmental council, was one of the volunteers on the day. She, and other volunteers from around the city, picked up everything from plastic food wrappers, shot-gun waddings, bottles and cans to tyres, a motorbike helmet, a crab/lobster pot, cigarette butts and shoes.
"It’s really important that we start reducing waste to stop it harming our environment and our marine life," says Yeoman.
Saturday’s Hirepool Big Clean event attracted 132 people to New Brighton, with a strong contingent from the Gordon Scout Group, where they collected 1750 litres of rubbish.
At Sumner Beach, 90 volunteers picked up 1550 litres of litter, mostly under the bridge and from the estuary, and at Lyttelton Harbour, 35 locals gathered 1150 litres of litter, including 12 tyres, four cones and fishing equipment.
In the lead-up to the Hirepool Big Clean, Sustainable Coastlines team members spent several weeks educating students at local schools about the importance of working towards cleaner coastlines to protect marine life. Many of those kids took part in the clean-up event.
For more information visit www.sustainablecoastlines.org.nz