Waka Waka Volunteers Beach Clean
The Waka Waka volunteer group in Gangneung participated in a beach clean on Saturday (30/04). The clean up was situated at Sageunjin Beach, just North of Gyeongpo beach. It was my first time visiting the beach, I had no idea what to expect rubbish wise.
The event started at 12pm, but my friend and I were about 45 minutes late because we cycled a bit too far north. A good three beaches north! It was nice scenery though, so it was worth the ride.
When we got to the beach, there were already a few bags filled with rubbish.
The beach looked fairly clean to the eye. However, if you looked closely, there were lots of little black plastic tubes from fireworks. Fireworks are popular here in Korea, and most convenience stores sell them by the beach. Once they've exploded, they discharge a plastic capsule. These are mostly never picked up. There were also discarded used fireworks too.
Areas that were near the trees had the most rubbish. Lots of plastic wrappings, styrofoam, fishing nets and cages, lighters and even a light bulb. A lightbulb!
Some people also found a camp site. Well it looked like a camp site. There were all sorts, from banners to old kimchi pots. The photo is of the kimchi pot with some seriously disgusting black gloop inside. Maybe it was super old kimchi, or it was poop. I hope it was the former...
Importance of keeping beaches clean
Beaches are probably one of the dirtiest places on Earth, apart from the Ocean which is currently full of plastic and other waste materials. Marine animals are at most risk as these are the living things which have first contact with rubbish. Plastic bags take about 20 years to degrade. Whist plastic bottles over 450 years. Cigarettes are about 4-5 years.
These cause a huge problem for our ocean animals as some think they are food. Turtles have often mistaken plastic bags for jellyfish. Fish often mistake cigarette butts as food. Animals can become entangled in plastic beer can holders, fishing lines and nets.
Plastics and other materials can release toxins into the water, animals which ingest these waste materials could pass down these toxins to their offspring. Sometimes these toxins can be in high concentration in their offspring and we in turn eat them.
Balloon releases, fire lanterns and fireworks are major contributors to ocean pollution around the world.
Sadly the beach cleans which are occurring around the world won't make a difference if people keep littering and flushing nappies/sanitary towels and ear buds down the loo. Stop flushing nappies or sanitary towels down the loo!!! I don't even know how they don't block your toilet. It's surprising how much of it you find on some beaches.
Anyways, best stop before I lose my mind.
At the end of the clean, there was a BBQ/Braai/grill...whatever you call it. It was pot luck, people made sides and brought certain things to grill. My friend and I took some hot dog style sausages and pork chops. There were also sausages (boerewors) on the go, people donated money to eat them.
I didn't eat any, so I'm not sure how they tasted. I'm sure they were nice though.
There was also a speech made by one of the organisers. Afterwards, people signed the banner they made for the group.
There was also a group photo.
I'm not sure what the next venture with this volunteering group will be. But you can find out on their facebook page if you click here.