With marine pollution an ever-present problem in Hong Kong’s waters, one of the co-founders of local environmental group Eco Marine, Lantau resident Keilem Ng, has set herself a month-long personal challenge to rid one of our island’s beautiful beaches of trash.
Keilem’s project began back in June, when she decided to dedicate 30 minutes every day for one month to cleaning Tong Fuk pebble beach in South Lantau.
Keilem is documenting her project each day on the Eco Marine Facebook page, sharing photos of the items she has found washed up on the shore. Incredibly, since beginning her challenge three weeks ago, Keilem and a small group of volunteers have filled 61 of bags full of rubbish, including 706 plastic bottles and 172 disposable lighters; highlighting just how damaging our “single use” lifestyle can be to the environment.
Writing about the project on Facebook, Keilem said, “21 days ago I started spending approximately 30 minutes each day cleaning Tong Fuk pebble beach, a beautiful little non gazetted beach very close to my home. I wanted to give back to nature that has been so kind to me and also to explore the power of one individual’s actions and habits.’’
Encouragingly, the initiative has seen no shortage of volunteers as local residents including families, young children and even a pair of helpful dogs have joined in the effort. On day nine, Keilem was joined by a group of young children and took the opportunity to educate them on the dangers of ghost nets, polystyrene and micro plastics to the sea’s delicate ecosystem.
Keilem is hoping that her project will inspire other Hong Kongers to begin their own personal 30-day challenges and is encouraging people to get involved in the conservation effort. Anyone deciding to embark on their own project is being asked to share news of their efforts on social media to raise awareness by using the hashtags #onepersoncleanup and #30for30.
Images: Eco Marine, Facebook and courtesy of Keilem Ng