Written by John Williams
Photography by Daniel Wood
... that they had collected about a tenth of the volume of rubbish than they had last year, which he described as wonderful news.
“There’s an old saying that goes, rubbish attracts rubbish. So, the less rubbish there is, the less it will attract. Your hard work over the past seven years seems to be working. The message may finally be getting out there about plastic, which is fabulous,” he added.
Another member of the Ray White Damerell Group team who turned up to help on the day was Tony Warren, who was just as enthusiastic as Simon with the turnout. “Today has been awesome,” he said. “It’s great to see so many children getting involved and making them aware of what’s going on in their environment.
“It’s crazy to think that not only have most birds and fish got plastic in their systems, but the flow on effect from that is that we now have plastic in our bodies from eating the fish,” said Tony. “Any little bit that we can do to help, I’m behind it one hundred per cent.”
Gower Buchannan, one of the Directors at Ray White Damerell said he was really heartened to see such a great turnout, especially from his team. “We’ve been working in this area for over 20 years, now, and organising the Cox’s Bay Clean Up for seven. Every year we get great support from local people and the local schools, and also from the Hawke Sea Scouts.""As a consequence we’re seeing less and less plastic and Cox’s Bay has benefitted because of our efforts.”
Local resident, Ashleigh Ogden, a first-timer at the event said it was disheartening to see how much rubbish was left in such a beautiful area of Auckland. However, it was such a wonderful experience to come together with other locals to keep our land and waters clean. “The atmosphere in the crowd was buzzing with people of all ages getting stuck in together. It’s such a great initiative by Ray White, and I’ll definitely be back next year!”
The morning ended as it began, with Simon Damerell thanking everyone for their continued efforts in keeping this beautiful bay plastic free. There was also the announcement of the colouring-in prize, for which two lucky local children took home a snorkeling kit and a body board, and the family spot prize of a ferry trip to the bird sanctuary on Tiritiri Matangi Island, just off the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
From the whole team at the Ray White Damerell Group, a huge thank you to Sea Cleaners, the Watercare Harbour Clean-Up Trust, Hawke Sea Scouts, and most of all, to all the members of our community who gave up their Sunday morning. Roll on next year!
What Can You Do To Help?
- Start by saying no to plastic. Try to reduce your personal consumption of plastic by using alternatives to plastic bags at the supermarket. Also, think about the packaging of the products you purchase. Drink bottles a classic example. From the ocean’s perspective glass and aluminium are OK.
- Just because it’s labelled recyclable doesn’t automatically make it ocean friendly. Anything that’s plastic has a negative impact on the ocean – plastic is not biodegradable.
- One habit everyone should get into is to pick up just one piece of rubbish a day and dispose of it responsibly. Think about it – that’s 4.5 million pieces of rubbish per day that won’t end up in the ocean.