During the week of December 5th, Alex Widmer and I organized a trash clean up in two different locations for our CAS project. We chose to do a trash clean up because we are aware of all the trash that has accumulated on the shores of multiple beaches around Hong Kong and we know that it is extremely detrimental to the environment. The trash from other areas also come to Hong Kong shores because of the ocean’s current and wind, which makes it even more important for people living in Hong Kong to take care of the land around them.
During this week, we led a group of our peers as well as grade 11 students to two different beaches to pick up trash. The two locations that we went to were Clearwater Bay Beach #2 and Yim Tin Tsai beach. In the morning, we set off to the beaches and picked up the trash. We found that on Clearwater Bay Beach #2, the actual beach part where all the people hang out is kept tidy and clean. If you walked out to the edges, past the sand, there is tons of trash just laying around. For Yim Tin Tsai beach, we found more trash along the hiking trails and the in dam area. We spent most of our time on either side of the dam, walking along the sandy/rocky area collecting trash.
In the afternoon, we arrived back at school and had lunch. After lunch we took all of the trash that we collected and sorted it into five different categories: plastic, metal, glass, paper, and styrofoam. There was a lot more trash than we expected. Across the two days we picked up a total of 55 kg of trash. Out of all the trash we collected, the most common ones were plastics of varying types, such as bottles and food wrappers. Once we sorted the trash we took inventory of what we had and put it into a table which can be found here. After we took the data we submitted it to Hong Kong Cleanup, which is an organization that specializes in analyzing data so find with beaches and trails need to be prioritized for cleaning.
Overall, we learned that popular beaches are the ones that are usually cleaned but only in the areas where people go, the sides are left unattended and thus, accumulate a lot of trash. We need to learn to be more sustainable and recycle our trash so that the environment won’t be paying the price for our own mistakes.